American Airlines Fires Employee Who Wrote Thoughtful Post about Website Design

You may remember a story a little while back about a blogger who posted a suggestion about how to improve American Airlines’ website.  He took AA to task (wrongfully, in my opinion, as website design in a large company is a complex issue), but made some interesting suggestions about how to redesign it.  Then an AA designer wrote a thoughtful response about why changes aren’t made easily at a large organization like American.  It was a thoughtful response to a difficult issue.

So of course American fired him.  The official reason was that he disclosed company secrets (?), but the real reason was because employees aren’t supposed to talk about the company to press.  Was some random blogger press?  Not really, but I guess I get their point.  But I would think that in this day and age they would show a little leniency — the web designer wasn’t bashing the company at all, and the world has changed a bit from the old never-talk-to-the-media days when the media was not an incredibly fragmented morass of outlets.


  1. Many high-tech companies actually encourage employees to engage with their customers/users via blogs and social media. Of course, we have rules that limit what we can do (makes sense), but explaining the rationale behind a particular website design decision certainly wouldn’t cause anyone to blink.

    Shows that airlines are still stuck in the 1960s.

  2. .Mahvash Davidson

    TO Management of American Airline
    Dear Sir/Madam
    I have been one of your clients since 1982. i always had a pleasent fly to L.A to visit my mother.
    Unfortunately my mother passsed away and for this reason i will go less to L.A..
    This is an email of appreciation to one your staff that was extremly kind and undrestanding when i had to cancell my flight during my sad time.
    The name of this wonderful lady is ” MARIA ROETHIG “.
    I congratulate your company for having such a caring and dedicated staff.
    Please accept my gratitude and appreciation and with no doubt i will be delighted to travel with your airline again and again for other destination.
    Thanks once again to “Maria “and you.
    Yours sincerely.
    Mahvash Davidson (Mrs)