Dennis Schaal from Skift recently posted about American Airlines giving travel start ups an edge.
Despite a former AA official suggesting they have a start up "fund", they don't. However, there is a small team within AA that are backing incubators, providing free flights and opening doors to others.
Clearly big name airlines are way ahead of the game with huge business traveller customer bases showing the importance of input and backing from companies like AA.
Using the example of VerbalizeIt, Schaal shows how AA are promoting the tech start up in the airlines magazine, American Way and how they are promoting to leisure and business travellers.
Using promo codes, customers get 10% off VerbalizeIt plans for individuals and the first month free on business accounts.
Don't take their word for it though. The CEO of VerbalizeIt, Ryan Frankel has nothing but good words to say about AA saying he's already seeing orders for the service coming and that AA are committed to helping and working with start ups.
Claudia Granda now heads the startup project at American as strategy manager of startups and SMB (small and midsize business).
The unit, which spans across San Francisco, Boston, Dallas and Miami supports startups and entrepreneurs through entities such as Techstars, MassChallenge, Tech Wildcatters and other tech events.
So they may not be seeking out to fund travel startups these days, but they're still doing their bit for startups with the small but proactive team.
What do you think of AA's contribution and partnerships with start ups? Is it important that the big name airlines put back into smaller business?
Let me know what you think!