The Admirals Club was conceived by AA president C.R. Smith as a marketing promotion shortly after he was made an honorary Texas Ranger. Inspired by the Kentucky colonels and other honorary title designations, Smith decided to make particularly valued passengers "admirals" of the "Flagship fleet" (AA called its aircraft "Flagships" at the time).[50] The list of Admirals included many celebrities, politicians, and other VIPs, as well as more "ordinary" customers who had been particularly loyal to the airline.
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New York–LaGuardia – The ninth-largest hub for American in terms of number of flights, the tenth-largest in number of destinations and American's fourth hub for the East Coast.[22] About 8.5 million passengers fly through LGA on American every year, or about 23,000 people per day.[22] The airport also serves as a base for American Airlines Shuttle. American has about 27% of the market share at LGA, and is the second-largest carrier behind Delta.[22]
Opened in 1988, The Townsend Hotel is AAA Four-Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star boutique luxury property with 150 guestrooms, including nine penthouses and specialty suites. Since opening, The Townsend has been the proud recipient of a variety of travel and hospitality industry publication and traveler survey accolades, including Travel + Leisure’s (T+L) Best Hotel in Michigan and T+L 500: The World’s Best Hotels, as well as Condé Nast Traveler‘s Top 15 Hotels in the Midwest and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.
To help fund the site, the founders created special edition breakfast cereals, with presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain as the inspiration for "Obama O's" and "Cap'n McCains".[25] In two months, 800 boxes of cereal were sold at $40 each, which generated more than $30,000 for the company's incubation.[26][27] It also got the company noticed by computer programmer Paul Graham, who invited the founders to the January 2009 winter training session of his startup incubator, Y Combinator, which provided them with training and $20,000 in funding in exchange for a small interest in the company.[18][28][29] With the website already built, they used the $20,000 Y-Combinator investment to fly to New York City to meet users and promote the site.[30] They returned to San Francisco with a profitable business model to present to West Coast investors. By March 2009, the site had 10,000 users and 2,500 listings.[29]
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