American Airlines Spreads Holiday Cheer to Community, Employees

Christmas came early for employees of American Airlines as they celebrated the annual Holiday in the Hangar event at the American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum early Saturday morning, Dec. 8.
Over 100 employees filled the museum with their families to enjoy this event that was put together by the C.R. Smith Museum and American Airlines employee business resource group, Family Matters.
“We co-organized our Holiday in the Hangar event with Family Matters, because this is our opportunity to do something seasonal not only for the general public, but for the team members at American Airlines,” executive director of the American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum, Uli Sailer Das said. “This event is our way of building a bridge into the community by having community events that engage them with aviation, American Airlines, with the industry, and just have a fun seasonal event.”
Before Holiday in the Hangar officially began, Family Matters hosted a charitable event for the community.
“Each December we have an annual Angel Tree event before Holiday in the Hangar serving close to 300 children within ten miles of the museum,” diversity advisor council member for Family Matters, Kumarie Deokielal, said. “The night before we have volunteers helping set up and in the morning the families come and each child gets a gift approximately worth $25 all made possible through employee donations.”
Once the Angel Tree event is over, Holiday in the Hangar begins, which is free to families that participated in the Angel Tree event, and American Airlines employees and loved ones. Museum visitors could enjoy the event with the price of admission.
“The main reason we have this event is to engage with our team members, because throughout the year, our team members support us so much,” Deokielal said. “We have close to 25,000 employees within the DFW area, so it’s an event for our team members to network and meet from all over the company with their loved ones. We make sure to broadcast this event to team members company-wide, so if we have someone in Raleigh who’s coming down for the weekend, they can come by as well at no cost. This is just our way to say thank you for supporting us year after year by participating in our events, donating and volunteering in our community.”
Holiday in the Hangar was filled with engaging activities for the entire family. Some of the activities included face painting, showings of Disney’s short animated movie “Prep and Landing,” and pictures with Santa.
Kathleen Basco works in customer planning at the American Airlines Headquarters and brought her family to the event.
“This is the first time we have come to this event, and we’ve had a really good time,” Basco said. “My husband and I brought our two little boys, J.J. and Ethan. They enjoyed building an airplane, but we really came to see Santa.”
Lisa Noland and her family have made Holiday in the Hangar an annual family tradition.
“We come to this event every year because my kids love the museum,” Noland said. “They like seeing the airplanes, and looking around the museum. It’s a good way to celebrate the holidays with my family and to get in the Christmas spirit.
“My mom works for American Airlines, so she invites us and we just turned it into a family tradition that my kids really look forward to every year. There’s always something to do and see for the kids.”

Written by Daisy Silos