End of an era: the American will abandon his in-flight magazine

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After more than half a century in the pockets of airplane seat backs, American Airlines’ in-flight magazine, American Way, is disappearing.

A spokeswoman for the airline said Friday that American would withdraw the magazine and its online version in late June.

American says it is the oldest continuously published magazine in the airline industry, dating back to 1966. American Way went from annual to quarterly, then monthly, filled with stories about the airline, the destinations it ‘it served and an assortment of other features. There were also maps of the airport terminal and other information towards the back. It spawned imitators in many other airlines.

The pandemic has hastened the demise of in-flight magazines, as airlines took them down last year to prevent people from flipping through pages that had been touched by other passengers. Delta and Southwest ditched theirs, and British Airways stopped stocking hard copies of “High Life” while keeping the online version.

But the days of the in-flight magazine were numbered anyway, as passengers began to spend more time browsing other information and entertainment on their phones, tablets and laptops.

American said it would provide other in-flight programs to give customers “more of what they want” while reducing wasted paper and unnecessary weight on planes.

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