The following story will appear in the April 1 and April 15 editions of American Way magazine, the award-winning inflight magazine of American Airlines. It is republished here in full with permission of the author.
When George Harrison wrote "Blue Jay Way" for the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour album back in 1967, American Airlines was just putting the finishing touches on its total commitment to the jet age, having completed its final piston-powered flight.
That same year was the final season for professional baseball in Toronto for a decade, as the AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, a team that shared its name with the NHL's Stanley Cup champion Toronto Maple Leafs, played its final season in the International League.
Keith Law, Toronto Blue Jays Special Assistant to the GM
Meanwhile, in Long Island, NY, young New York Yankees fan Keith Law was still some six years away from even being born. American Airlines, Toronto baseball and Law have all come a long way since then.
Law, who is Special Assistant to the General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays major league baseball club, a team that debuted in 1977, lives with his wife Christa in the Boston area. That's a heck of a commute to work, and Law is another example of AA's customers believing that "We know why you fly."
But it's not just about the commute to work for Law, as he said, "Air travel is critical for everyone in baseball operations, since we scout worldwide." No kidding! The 2005 version of the Blue Jays 40-man roster includes players from Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and 16 of the 50 U.S. states, while their minor league system includes players from Puerto Rico to Guam to Taiwan and has recently had players from Australia and Korea, among others.
Like most regular business travelers, Law -- who also spent several years as a co-author of the popular Baseball Prospectus -- prefers the adventure of leisure travel that his work-related jaunts can earn him. "I love to travel, particularly internationally," he said. "I've had good experiences flying American and dealing with American's customer service department. I also find that the other carriers in the oneworld alliance are attractive to me for award tickets."
Law, who graduated with honors from Harvard and received an MBA from Carnegie Mellon, continued, "Though BOS-YYZ is definitely the number one [international] route for me, I've flown American and its partners to Europe numerous times." And, he admitted, "I am currently hoarding miles for a trip to South America."
While Law doesn't have any specific stories of hopping an AA flight to discover the next Roy Hobbs or Sidd Finch, he's very straightforward in explaining his loyalty to American: "I don't have any complaints about them. A few [other] airlines lost my business because of a specific mistake or series of mistakes, but American's performance has been solid and consistent."
Solid, consistent, no mistakes, no complaints -- that sounds like a description any baseball executive would like to hear reviewing his own team's performance. So Keith, as we fly into April and the magical mystery tour that comes each baseball Opening Day, welcome back on board American, and here's to flying the 2005 Blue Jay way!
Submit your stories, photos, even videos showing "why you fly" at http://www.whyyoufly.com.