Home Airline Profiles Old Livery vs New Livery Challenge: American Airlines

Old Livery vs New Livery Challenge: American Airlines

by Matt Falcus
laguardia spotting plane view park

When an airline changes its livery and corporate branding, it usually causes mixed views from among the aviation enthusiast community and loyal customers.

It seems that over time we get used to new liveries and often forget what they used to look like. But sometimes it’s hard to forget.

In our first example, we look at American Airlines.

N869NN at Las Vegas. Photo (c) Erik Ritterbach

Beginning in 2013, the classic polished metal look started to be replaced by a painted light grey and updated tail livery.

Which do you prefer? Leave a comment below.



You may also like


Maurice Eaton March 11, 2020 - 11:30 am

My preferred choice would be the original silver polished body combined with the striped tail.

Andrew Perrott March 11, 2020 - 12:17 pm

The old, definitely

Very few recent livery changes have been for the better. Aegean is one of the few, but its old livery was dire beyond belief. KLM’s was good until it introduced that needless ‘swoop’ line. United’s is worse than it was. Alitalia’s and Flybe’s speak volumes for their management..,’we’re dead in the water…let’s fritter away money on a new livery’.

Ian March 11, 2020 - 12:43 pm

The chrome

Michael Cahill March 11, 2020 - 12:55 pm

I prefer the classic polished metal. My understanding is they had an employee vote with a very narrow margin going to the new look.

Brad Bouwkamp March 11, 2020 - 1:18 pm

I like the classic look.
But if I could but them togather, the classic polished metal look with the updated tail livery would look great I think.

Matt Falcus March 11, 2020 - 2:41 pm

Interesting idea Brad!

Jonathan Shaw March 11, 2020 - 2:12 pm

Although I’m normally a traditionalist, and enjoy seeing retro schemes, I actually prefer the new American Airlines scheme. Unlike a lot of today’s carriers, there is plenty of colour and it comes across as much cleaner looking.

Gary Michel March 11, 2020 - 3:31 pm

The classic bare metal — by far.

Mike Sullivan March 11, 2020 - 4:47 pm

The old especially the double A on the tail. Seems like the airlines waste so much money changing the livery for something that looks worse.

Robbie Shaw March 11, 2020 - 5:23 pm

Although the new one is slowly growing on me, I think the old is much better and certainly more photogenic.

Graziano Rotondi March 11, 2020 - 6:46 pm

I share the Brad’s opinion. This almost generalized tendency to keep a white fuselage and put some distinctive elements/colors just in the tail, is not so original. Keeping a part Alitalia’s problems (I’m Italian), I’m a frequent flyer of Lufthansa but the option of that dark blue tail without the iconic yellow crane, reveals a total lack of fantasy.

Jason Verney March 11, 2020 - 7:11 pm

Old livery for sure, especially on the 757-200’s. Not a big fan of the new livery.

Ray Jennings March 11, 2020 - 10:57 pm

You can’t beat the original, unpainted finish. It was distinctive enough to make American Airlines really stand out in the crowd. I’m not saying the current scheme is easily lost but it’s just paint, whereas the unpainted and polished look had real class.

Adrian Chadburn March 12, 2020 - 6:23 pm

Split loyalties on this one. As an aircraft spotter , the new scheme makes it easier to read the aircraft registrations. With the old scheme this could be difficult especially in some light conditions. On balance , I prefer the new scheme. Often the simplest of schemes are the best. You don’t have to remind me of the United /Continental scheme after they merged. The “new” United scheme is much better.

Matt Falcus March 13, 2020 - 2:21 pm

Great point about the registrations, Adrian! The numbers on the old polished livery were really hard to read.

Terri March 12, 2020 - 6:42 pm

Old livery all the way!!

John Klos March 13, 2020 - 8:45 pm

The livery was changed due to the carbon fiber aircraft unable to mimic the original chrome. It’s sad that new technology basically “forced” their hand so that all aircraft would look the same. Having said this, the new look is growing on me. The new tail, is actually my favorite part of the scheme.

Chuck Bell March 16, 2020 - 12:10 am

The chrome. I grew up with it while my Dad worked for American.

Brett Easton April 18, 2020 - 3:25 am

Whilst I like the new American Airlines lively ,I do prefer the old livery


Leave a Comment