Branding Efforts Need To Propagate Across The Company

PSAtail(1)I was walking through the Indianapolis Airport recently and spotted the tail you see in the picture. For Gen X and Millennials this tail may not mean anything, but for Boomers and their parents, in California at least, this hits home. Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) was the Southwest Airlines of its day. (In fact it was an actual inspiration for Southwest Airlines).

PSA was acquired in 1988 and became part of US Airways. In 2013, US Airways became part of American Airlines. Apparently in late 2014, American Airlines decided to honor some of its historical airlines by repainting the tails using the original logos. Seeing the PSA tail (and noting it was an American Airlines plane), was way cool for me.

I walked over to the gate to find out what was going on with this PSA tail. The gate area was empty except for an American Airlines pilot, who I assume was going to fly that plane later (though I am not sure of that).

I asked him what was up with the PSA tail? He shrugged looked at me oddly and said he didn’t know, but he assumed they were painting tails with different logos for some reason.

Seriously? American Airlines invests a non-trivial amount of money to repaint the tail and their pilots don’t know why. Branding fail … big time. But then it was not all that long ago American Airlines pilots had “boycott American Airlines” stickers on their flight bags.

Is this anyway to run an airline?


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