Wing Pins for Children Return at American Airlines

F requent fliers may feel gloomy over the prospect of the changes recently announced for the AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program which become effective as of August 1, 2016; but at least children have something about which to cheer.

Wing Pins for Children Return at American Airlines

Wing pins are small plastic wings adorned with the logo of the airline which flight attendants distribute to children — although an adult can probably also obtain one if he or she asks nicely. According to this article written by Ted Reed for Forbes, on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, “American brought them back, starting with Flight 1929 from Charlotte to Orlando, selected because it carries a high proportion of children heading for destinations like Disney World and SeaWorld.”

Once upon a time, plastic wings had a sharp metallic appendage affixed to the rear for securing onto an item of clothing — not exactly appealing and safe as something to be given to children — but in more recent years, the plastic wings are safer now that they have an adhesive on the back instead of pins…

…meaning that the term wing pins is actually a misnomer of sorts — but I digress as usual.


Combine the gifting of wing pins to children with distributing commemorative first flight certificates — which are signed by the pilots and flight attendants aboard the airplane to recognize customers who are flying as passengers for the first time — and American Airlines presents a welcoming atmosphere to its passengers who may some day want to pursue a career in commercial aviation. Perhaps they may eventually want to be a flight attendant — or become a pilot and captain such as the inimitable Denny Flanagan, who retired one week ago today.

I am personally glad that this tradition has returned to at least one airline…

A wing pin of Delta Air Lines used to have an actual pin behind it. I do not have any wing pins from American Airlines. Sob. Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

8 thoughts on “Wing Pins for Children Return at American Airlines”

  1. Omatravel says:

    We just flew Delta last week and the wing pins actually had pins again

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you for reporting that, Omatravel.

  2. Denise says:

    Hey Brian, I work for UA and we still give wings. They’re plastic with a pin on back. they are onboard, in the Flight Attendant kit. When I’m saying goodbye, I hand them out to the kids……unfortunately, some times I forget!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you for that information, Denise.

      I guess all three legacy airlines in the United States now give out wing pins with actual pins on the back instead of adhesive anymore…?

  3. Erica says:

    I know Southwest occasionally hands out wing “pins” that have the adhesive on the back. I think they are usually in the kids activity kit that sometimes gets distributed. I haven’t been able to figure out any rhyme or reason as to when they pass out the kits but my kids have gotten them a few times.

    The pins always lose their stick pretty fast.

  4. Cindy Lytle says:

    My family just flew from Jacksonville, FL to Charlotte, NC on American Airlines for a reunion. It was the first flight for my 2 year old grandson and he loved it. When we departed the plane in Charlotte we asked if he could have a wing pin and the attendant said she was out of them. Then returning to Jacksonville, they said the same thing. We were very disappointed since this was his first time flying. Do you know how I can obtain a wing pin from American? Thank you.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Have you attempted to contact American Airlines via e-mail message, Twitter or telephone, Cindy Lytle?

      Try those methods of communication first; and if none of them result in getting you those wing pins, please let me know. I do know some people at American Airlines who might be able to assist…

      1. Cindy Lytle says:

        Yes, I sent them an email also. Have not received a reply yet. I’ll let you know if they cannot help me. Thanks so much.

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