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American Airlines
launches gay-friendly Web site

American Airlines
launches gay-friendly Web site

American targets LGBT travelers with special packages to gay-friendly destinations.

American Airlines, the world's largest carrier, on Tuesday launched a new addition to their travel Web site to specifically target gay and lesbian vacationers. The microsite--AAVacations.com/rainbow--enables LGBT fliers to combine airfare with hotel, rental car, and tour package deals in destinations known as gay-friendly or that have a special interest to gay travelers. "American Airlines is a leader in championing respect and inclusion for all people. Once again, we are proud to lead the industry as the first U.S. airline with its own vacation package site specifically for this community," said George Carrancho, marketing manager at the Rainbow TeAAm, American's promotion group for gay and lesbian travelers. The intent of the site is convenience, Carrancho said. "Through this new AAVacations.com/rainbow site, we are highlighting for our gay frequent travelers the benefits of the huge American Airlines network and all the terrific vacation destinations that welcome them," he added. In addition to the normal miles awarded to frequent flyers reserving travel on AAVacations.com, LGBT visitors to the microsite will be awarded up to a 1,000-mile bonus for booking trips. The miles can also be used to purchase hotel stays or other vacation features like spa packages or golf outings. Darren Frei, editor of TheOut Traveler (a sister publication of The Advocate), said American's LGBT outreach makes sense since gay and lesbian consumers are more likely to travel than their straight counterparts and are typically loyal to companies that have directly marketed to them. "Many companies are competing for the gay travel dollar," Frei said. "Knowing that American Airlines is grounded in a history of pro-gay employment policies, gay and lesbian travelers are likely to give the new microsite a chance." (Neal Broverman, Advocate.com)

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