November is Aviation History Month. In honor of the occasion, Modern Graphic History Library presents American Airlines advertisements illustrated by Al Parker.
During the 1950s, Parker illustrated many advertisements for American Airlines. His early ads focused on the airline's Flagship program and highlighted a crisis for a passenger and how American solved the problem. All of the crises featured in the ads were based on real instances -- " a true story about Flagship travel that might have happened to someone you know."
Parker illustrated advertisements for these real life situations and captured the real emotions that the participants were feeling. One incident was about some newlyweds who failed to make reservations for Washington DC before flying to New York and weren't able to find a place to stay.
Another was about a girl whose mother had not picked her up at the airport (since she arrived a day early). Out of concern, the employee took the girl to her home and stayed with her until her mother got home from her late-shift job.
Another crisis highlighed in advertisements was a woman who realized mid-flight that she left all her Christmas shopping at the hotel on Christmas Eve. American offered to pick it up for her at the hotel, put it on a plane and deliver it to her on Christmas Eve.
In 1955, Parker illustrated another set of ads for the Flagship program. These ads featured a family of four, with a red-headed father and son and a blonde mother and daughter. These ads focused on how family-friendly American Airlines was.
American's advertising claimed that children flying on American would not get bored mid-flight, and therefore, would not behave badly. Flagship also offered deals for mothers and children to fly at a reduced rate if father was flying at full rate.
Parker featured this family of four throughout his 1955 advertisements for Flagship with American. Each ad focused on a different detail of being a Flagship Flyer, such as the "Go Now - Pay Later" plan and having a car brought to you at the airport after arriving.
The images are from the Al Parker Collection.