On June 14, 2012, I was a passenger on American’s inaugural nonstop from Washington National (DCA) to Los Angeles (LAX). I am preparing a full trip report, but that’s going to take a little time. I did not know until I read AA’s press release touting the nonstop from LAX that the inbound flight, AA 240, would serve as an honor flight for 10 World War II veterans.

AA really went all out for the new service and especially to celebrate the arrival of these heroes on their way for a VIP tour of the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. Flags were distributed to passengers and passers-by, and as AA 240 approached gate 30 at DCA, the heroes were honored with a water cannon salute to celebrate their service and the new nonstop flight.

Note the yellow ribbon on the tail, and the flag from the cockpit window. When the aircraft parked, the deplaning passengers remained seated, allowing the arriving vets to disembark first to cheers and applause. I took a little iPhone video of their arrival.

I’ll give AA a round of applause for orchestrating such a great ceremony for the arriving veterans. It was a great day, and a great flight. Stay tuned for my full trip report.