Ruppersberger Announces American Airlines Joins "Operation Hero Miles"
Washington, DC - Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) is pleased to announce that American Airlines, the world's largest air carrier, has joined "Operation Hero Miles." American Airlines has joined this program that allows travelers to donate their frequent flyer miles so soldiers on R & R (Rest and Relaxation) or emergency leave can fly home from Iraq and Afghanistan for free. American Airlines is donating 10 million miles to bring America's heroes home.
59 Million frequent flyer miles have been donated to "Operation Hero Miles" since Congressman Ruppersberger created the program on October 21, 2003. Travelers have donated 24 million miles and the five participating airlines - American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Southwest Airlines - have donated 35 million miles. This means that 2300 troops on R&R or emergency leave can receive free plane tickets for flights home. That is more than 100 free tickets a day since the program was created three weeks ago.
"The overwhelming response from travelers and the enthusiasm from the participating airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Southwest Airlines, has been truly inspiring and amazing. It shows that Americans really do want to help our troops serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan and help their families here at home," said Congressman Ruppersberger.
The soldiers who have been granted two weeks of R & R are flown to Baltimore Washington International Airport, Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, GA, and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas by the Department of Defense and then required to pay their own way to make connecting flights to their hometowns all across the country.
Additional information about how to donate frequent flyer miles can be found on the web site, www.heromiles.org.