When I spoke with managers at American about the trip to Iraq, I asked them how in the world this came to happen.
In a public corporation in a terrible economy, it would have been so easy to say no. I cannot imagine the leg-wrestling with lawyers as to the thousand ways a legal beagle could see this whole thing becoming a disaster.
The quick simple answer was this. When he first heard about the idea, Gerard Arpey, the CEO of American, said, "It is the right thing to do. Figure it out."
That is leadership. That is visionary. That is management. That is compassion.
And that is what happened. American Airlines figured it out.
The first American flagged commercial airplane to fly over Iraqi airspace and into Kuwait.
Oh, there are always things that a company can do better. And I know they try.
But if you can do this, you get my loyalty for life.
This flight was a life changer. I hope you will appreciate American Airlines and take time to thank them when you can.