Don’t Expect to Watch ‘Sully’ on an American Airlines Flight
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Sully, Clint Eastwood’s big-screen retelling of the “Miracle on the Hudson” – the 2009 aviation incident in which, after losing power just minutes after takeoff from LaGuardia, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed US Airways Flight 1549 safely in the Hudson River – is a bona fide hit. The film, which stars Tom Hanks in the title role, held onto the box office’s top spot for the second week in a row, grossing just north of $21 million. While American Airlines, which merged with US Airways last year, played a pivotal role in recreating the legendary water landing, don’t expect to see Hanks donning Sully’s iconic mustache aboard any of the airline’s flights in the near future.
While airlines, understandably, have long held a bias against showcasing any films that feature an airline disaster (or even near-disaster), one might think that AA, in particular, would make an exception for Sully. In addition to ultimately being a tale of heroism, the company itself was an integral part of the production. According to the Los Angeles Times, American assisted Eastwood and his team by lending them an Airbus 320 jet, some uniforms, and one of its gates at LaGuardia for filming last fall. (Not to mention key information on what the airline deems an acceptable amount of facial hair.)
It was important to the airline to make sure that Eastwood got the story right because, as American Airlines spokeswoman Michelle Mohr told the Los Angeles Times, “It’s one of the greatest aviation stories ever.” But if you want to see how their assistance paid off, you’ll have to fork over $20 for a ticket and some popcorn or wait until the biopic pops up on Netflix. Because American isn’t about to show off its handiwork to passengers.
“We are proud of the crew and how everything turned out,” Mohr explained, “but we are fully aware that it could be upsetting to someone on the plane.” If only AA felt the same way about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel.
H/T: Los Angeles Times