Coverage of the merger between American Airlines and US Airways

AA Celebrates Christmas, Despite Bankruptcy

Employees' kids, friends attend holiday party

By Julie Tam
|  Saturday, Dec 3, 2011  |  Updated 8:46 PM CDT
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From recent hires to a 22-year veteran, AMR workers express hope for the future despite the company filing for company filing for this week's bankruptcy filing.

Julie Tam

From recent hires to a 22-year veteran, AMR workers express hope for the future despite the company filing for company filing for this week's bankruptcy filing.

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American Airlines is trying to keep spirits high despite its bankruptcy filing.

The airline held its annual children's Christmas party Saturday for employees, their families and friends inside an aircraft hangar at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Children took pictures with Santa, rode a train and got a jousting lesson from restaurant Medieval Times.

"This is excellent. It just brings out the atmosphere and the Christmas spirit," said Dagmar Voracek, a single mom who's been with the company only eight months.

Even as employees enjoyed themselves, their thoughts turned to the direction the airline is heading in and their own job security.

"I am concerned, of course, but in spite of that, I still believe that this company will remain the great company that I believe it still is," Voracek said.

"I'm hoping for the best for the company and for me and my family and everybody else and their family," said Susan Ray, a 22-year veteran of the company who's putting her daughter through college. "We're still here, and we're here for each other."

Despite the uncertainty at work, employees still donated to those less fortunate by bringing a canned good for The Salvation Army or a toy for Toys for Tots.

"I'm with American a long time, and this is just another hurdle, another challenge," said Lisa Zanelli, who's worked at American for 30 years.

Workers said it's too early to tell what new CEO Tom Horton will bring, but they hope it will be a better future for the company.

"Life goes on, and we will go on," said Bob Chase, who heads the committee that organized the party.


American Airlines Merger:
Complete coverage of the merger between American Airlines and US Airways into the newly-formed Fort Worth-based company, American Airlines Group (AAL). Click here for more.

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