American launches Behind the Scenes Video series: Win an AA USB Card and Free Gogo Wifi code

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes when a weather event occurs, or wanted to know what the Systems Operations Control Center looks like at an airline, then you’re going to enjoy this video from American Airlines:

Introducing the first of our new Behind the Scenes @AmericanAir video series. Our employees answer customer questions in this in-depth and genuine view of our airline.

Weather delays can have a dramatic impact on our customers travel. Learn more about what really happens during a weather delay, as well as some of the efforts and investments we’re making to improve your travel experience.

What happens during a weather delay? Behind the Scenes @AmericanAir

Aside from the glimpse of the Operations Control Center, the portion I found most fascinating was when Tim Niznik, the Senior Manager for Operations Research, demonstrated how software is used to reallocate delays so as to minimize the number of customer disruptions.  He cites an example of one of the engineers moving a flight up in the landing queue after a weather delay because the software revealed that 50 passengers had international connections, and that 15 of them were traveling on to China.

I always assumed it under complete control of the FAA and luck.   It’s good to know that there’s more to it than that, and that’s somebody is monitoring connections.

This is the first in a series and American asked YouTube viewers to share their ideas:

Let us know if there’s a question or topic you’d like us to cover next.

What would I like to see?

I’d like to see inside the mysterious revenue management operations.  I’d like to see how a fare becomes a fare sale and I’d like to see how they decide to open up awards seats and upgrades.   Is it done by a computer?   Is it done by people?   In my imagination, it’s not unlike that scene from Moneyball, where a group of guys sit around a table a talk stats and numbers. I wonder if it’s really like that or if it’s just software that makes all those decisions.  

I’d also like to see behind the scenes of one of American’s international flights as it goes from crew scheduling, gate assignment, prepping meals and meal requests, cleaning, replenishing copies of American Way Magazine, clearing system wide upgrades, loading supplies, everything that happens up until the moment they close the door.  I’ve always figured that a lot has to happen before I get settled in my seat.  

And that brings us to today’s contest.   

Reader Giveaway

Congratulations to Bob, he’s the randomly selected winner of Monday’s Reader Giveaway!  Yesterday, I asked readers to name their favorite travel app. Bob’s a big fan of the American Airlines App, “AA app is always first”. That will warm heart of the AA mobile team!

Screenshot of Random Number Generator

Day 2: Win an American Airlines USB Card and Free Code for Gogo Wifi

The AA social media team was nice enough to give me five USB cards with free codes for Gogo Inflight Wifi, so each day this week I’m giving one away.


American Airlines USB Card

American Airlines USB Card


To enter, just share your idea for a great behind the scenes video.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll have a random drawing to pick a winner and will announce the results Wednesday’s post.  One entry per person. The deadline to enter is tonight, March 13, at 11:59PM Pacific.

Good luck!


  1. I’d like a behind the scenes “A day in the life of…” with a flight crew and with a top level status traveler.

  2. Behind the scenes- life of a bag. Install a camera on a bag from the point it enters the airport to the point it is checked and then finally comes out to customers at baggage claim.

  3. I would like to follow a newbie – on their first day in training class and then on their first day after graduation providing inflight service.

  4. I’d love to see a sped-up film showing the trip your baggage makes–seeing the cargo hold get filled up, empty out, and of course, everything coming out on the carousel, speeding around until there’s nothing left and it turns off. That’d be cool!

  5. Hello! I would like to see behind the scenes of the AA employees break room! What kind of snacks that have, what they discuss etc. 🙂

  6. I’d like to see a video of the design process, fabrication, and installation AA’s business and first class long haul seats.

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