Envoy: A Funny Thing About Regional Airline Names


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From http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2014/01/american-eagle-airline-changing-to-envoy

Meet American’s Envoy: A Funny Thing About Regional Airline Names


Regional airlines are odd ducks.You rarely, if ever, see their names when you fly, but for some reason they like to pour a ton of effort into changing their names. The latest is American Eagle, which will now become... Envoy. While that's not the worst airline name we've ever seen, it's not the best either.

To be fair, American Eagle kind of had to make the change. It used to be the only game in town when it came to operating regional flights for American Airlines. However, a couple years back, American decided to let other airlines fly under the American Eagle banner (similar to the way many airlines fly using the names United Express and Delta Connection).



New Envoy logo
But since American decided to steal the brand for itself, the regional airline with the same name had to go looking for a new identity. Yesterday, it announced it would go by the lofty name of Envoy.

This isn't the first regional to take a stab at an impressive name change. The ironically named Pinnacle went bankrupt and was bought by Delta. When it emerged, it decided to rebrand with a new moniker. I think these guys were sitting around in a room saying something like..."Hey man, what's more awesome than the pinnacle of something? Space Shuttles!" That's right, it's now named Endeavor.

Sometimes the choice isn't so confident. When Atlantic Southeast and ExpressJet merged a while back, they decided they needed a new name to celebrate the union, so what did they pick? SureJet. As in, "Yeah, I'm sure it's a jet" or maybe "Sure, this jet will get you there eventually." The response was so swift and so negative that they quickly re-adopted the ExpressJet name instead.

Why do regionals spend so much time on this stuff when most passengers don't know (or care about) their names? It's for the employees. And for that reason, Envoy makes some sense. An envoy is a messenger or representative. Ultimately, this airline is meant to be American's representative to customers on small planes and in small cities. Plus there's the added bonus that Envoy is also the name as the current US Airways Business Class, which will be going away shortly.

It'll take about three months before the new name goes into effect. How will you know? Well, just look for that tiny little moniker near the door showing which airline is operating that American Eagle flight you're boarding.