Some American MD-80s are enrolling in college this semester

Dec 19, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Earlier this year, American Airlines retired its fleet of McDonnell-Douglas MD-80 aircraft.

The planes were a workhorse for American, having served short and medium-haul routes for the airline since the 1980s.

While the retirement signaled the end of the MD-80 era at American — the airline invested in more modern, fuel efficient aircraft — some of the planes will carry on with a new purpose.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news.

Most of American’s MD-80s were sent to long-term storage in Roswell, New Mexico, but two of them will be sent to aviation-maintenance schools to help students learn their craft.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
MD-80 cockpit. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

American announced Thursday that one plane would go to CareerTech in Oklahoma City, and another to Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, this week.

“As we look to the future of American’s tech ops work force, it’s important to train the next generation of aviation maintenance students so we have a development pipeline for skilled technicians,” Kevin Brickner, American’s senior vice president of technical operations, said in a statement. “Just like the MD-80 inspired our own team members in their career development for more than 35 years, the aircraft will do the same for students for years to come.”

An MD-80 takes flight. Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy
An MD-80 takes flight. (Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy)

Even before the full MD-80 fleet was retired, American started donating some planes of the type to technical schools and other educational venues as individual aircraft were removed from service. The first, in 2009, went to Miguel Such Vocational School in San Juan. Others have gone to schools and museums elsewhere in Puerto Rico, Oklahoma and Florida.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.