FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Rob Friedman Of American Airlines’ Passion For Progress

Mar 1, 2013
2013 / March 2013

Name: Rob Friedman
Title: Vice president of marketing
Company, City: American Airlines, Fort Worth
Number of employees: AMR Corp. has more than 81,000 employees worldwide.
Recent project: We unveiled American’s new, more modern look, which included developing the product strategy for our new fleet, designing new aircraft interiors and promoting new aircraft.
First job: I started my own yard service when I was 12.
Little-known fact about you: I’m color-blind.


Essential business philosophy: Put customers at the center, as they are the key to our success. As we continue our journey to modernize our great airline, we focus on building an exceptional travel experience with our customers at the center. Our industry is intensely competitive, and we recognize making enhancements our customers value will differentiate us from our competitors.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Anticipate what’s coming next. In the airline industry, I’ve seen that innovation, proactive planning and flexibility are key elements for success, allowing us to stay ahead of the curve and prepare for the unexpected.

Yardstick of success: Positive feedback. Nearly two years ago, we began making investments in our airline to create a world-class travel experience — creating our new look, ordering more than 500 new aircraft, updating technologies and tools for our people, and much more. There’s nothing better than hearing from our customers and our people that we’re getting it right.


What is the most important item you take when traveling? My smartphone

How do you spend your time on board? I spend most of my time talking with our flight crews to gain perspective and feedback on what’s working, what could be improved. They provide incredibly valuable input, ranging from what our customers say to how we can make crews more effective in delivering products and services. It is always a lively discussion. If I have time, I catch up on email with our onboard WiFi or watch a movie I missed in theaters. And I never miss an opportunity to indulge with a baked-on-board cookie or made-to-order sundae. For overnight international flights, I try to get about five hours of sleep so I can be refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.

What is your favorite restaurant in the world? Chez Marianne, Paris — a hole in the wall with great Mediterranean food and good memories of being there with my family.

What is your favorite destination in the world? Anywhere with beaches or ski slopes and preferably no cell service, but that is becoming rare.


What future product developments can travelers expect from American Airlines? American recently unveiled a new look, providing a visual representation on the outside of our aircraft that reflects the progress we’ve made on the inside. Our new look is modern and clean and symbolizes our passion for progress and the soaring spirit that is uniquely American. As we continue to modernize and refresh, it will find its way into everything we do — from airports to technology to the service we provide customers to new uniforms for many of our people.

What are the details of American Airlines’ new transcontinental service? We know many of our best customers fly coast to coast quite often, and our new Airbus A321 transcontinental aircraft allow us to further differentiate the experience, providing a relaxing environment for premium-class customers to rest, work or stay entertained in flight. The new fleet provides fully lie-flat seats in first and business class, in-flight WiFi, in-seat entertainment and universal AC power outlets at every seat.

American also plans to offer customers throughout the aircraft the ability to use our new cutting-edge in-flight entertainment system for seat-to-seat chat; to receive live text news and weather updates; and access 3-D moving maps, airport maps, connecting gate information and more.

What is the most challenging aspect of thriving in the North American market? Adapting to the ever-changing environment can be a challenge at times, but it also makes my job exciting. At American, our main priority is the satisfaction of our customers, and we work diligently to provide high-quality products and services they will value.

The long lead times in our business can sometimes prove challenging when it comes to understanding what our customers will want years in advance. That said, we continuously evaluate feedback from customers, monitoring changes in demand and anticipating upcoming trends in the travel industry to meet the needs and wants of our customers.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions


Insta Feed
Jul 24, 2024

SB Winemaker’s House & Spa Suites Introduces Custom Wine Itineraries

SB Winemaker’s House & Spa Suites offers guests personalized journeys to Mendoza’s finest wineries from Susana Balbo’s family. Immerse yourself in bespoke wine itineraries recommended by Balbo, Argentina’s first female winemaker; her son and third-generation winemaker, José Lovaglio Balbo; and her daughter, hotelier and wine tourism marketer, Ana Lovaglio Balbo.

Colombia: A Different Kind of Beauty

Colombia’s beauty defies description — it’s that unique, that special, that different — and travelers are taking notice as 2023 marked the country’s best year for tourism, welcoming more than 6 million international travelers. The Country of Beauty looks to continue growing and enhancing its regions and communities in 2024 and beyond.

eFlyer Reviews
Jul 24, 2024

Althoff Grand Hotel Schloss Bensberg Review

After a long drive from our previous destination, it was a relief to see Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg in our view. When we pulled into the hotel court, I felt like we were pulling up to a royal palace. Considering the hotel was originally built as a castle for Prince Elector Johann Wilhelm II of Duesseldorf and his wife, Maria-Luisa of the Medici family, my thought wasn’t that far off.

eFlyer News
Jul 24, 2024

Norwegian Cruise Line to Add Philadelphia as New Homeport in 2026

A major cruise line is set to sail from Philadelphia for the first time in years. Beginning in spring 2026, Norwegian Cruise Line will make Philadelphia its home port for some of its cruise ships, including sailings to Bermuda, Canada and New England. Norwegian’s Jewel will sail to Bermuda, featuring overnight calls to Royal Naval Dockyard.

Share Your Travel Preferences with Global Traveler in a Short Survey & Win

Learning more about our readers’ travel habits and preferences ensures Global Traveler delivers the content you desire. As the travel industry has adapted and changed over the last few years, it’s more important than ever to connect. To best meet your short- and long-term travel content needs, please help us!

eFlyer News
Jul 24, 2024

China Airlines Adds Seattle to North American Network

China Airlines officially launched a new route to North America, further connecting Taiwan with the United States’ Pacific coast. The new route from Taipei (TPE) to Seattle (SEA) marks the airline’s sixth non-stop destination in North America.

Jul 23, 2024

New at the Seaside: Sandbourne Santa Monica Opens

Set upon Santa Monica’s iconic Ocean Avenue, the new Sandbourne Santa Monica is ready for reservations. Beachfront with direct ocean access and offering 175 guestrooms and suites, this soon-to-be favorite address is part of Marriott’s esteemed Autograph Collection. Special touches include a honeybee hive and a dog park.

Why Buy Annual Travel Insurance?

One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.

Jul 23, 2024

3 Top Choices for New York City Summer Dining

There’s never a shortage of new restaurants opening in New York City any time of year, but some are better designed for warmer weather than others. Whether you’re looking to entertain clients or treat yourself to a well-earned meal at the end of the day, these three newer restaurants are top choices for New York City summer dining.