Here’s some news that will knock the merger out of the headlines: American is bringing the buttonhole back to the first class napkin!
I spoke with Brady Byrnes, the Manager of Design at American Airlines, and he told me that last year when American was in the process of selecting new china, glassware, silverware, and linen for their updated premium dining service, that the design team had a big discussion about the buttonhole and that it was a pretty even split among the group as to whether or not they should retain it.
Some felt that in keeping with tradition the buttonhole should remain, and others felt that in order to more closely replicate the fine dining experience one might have in a restaurant, they should retire the buttonhole. When they made the final decision they chose a stiff linen napkin without a buttonhole.
The buttonhole was just one of many innovations from American’s legendary CEO C.R. Smith, who out of necessity pioneered what has been both a great contribution to aviation and stain-fighting.
After it was removed, American heard from lots of customers. Rob Friedman, American’s Vice President of Marketing, told me last week that the feedback about the buttonhole was “passionately and overwhelmingly in favor of bringing it back”.
Good news! The buttonhole is coming back! Both Brady and Rob confirmed it.
It may take a few more weeks till you start seeing them in the cabin, but hopefully it won’t take too long.
I’m excited, I can go back to wearing a white shirt when I travel!