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WQXR Features

New York Pops to American Airlines: Prepare for Takeoff

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Travel got a little more musical today, as the New York Pops and American Airlines jointly announced a new agreement that will have the country's largest independent pops orchestra streaming on American's in-flight channels, live in the Admirals Clubs and in terminals at JFK International and LaGuardia airports.

"American Airlines and the New York Pops have common interests," said James Johnson, chief executive officer of the New York Pops. "We want to get people to rush to their computers, call their travel agents and fly to New York," Johnson said.

Pops music director Steven Reineke will host an inflight program entitled "Steven Reineke's New York," the first component of the agreement to be rolled out on both domestic and international flights. Recordings of New York Pops performances have been playing in JFK terminals since the holidays.

Reineke's program is slated to include such hits as New York, New York from Bernstein's On the Town, America from West Side Story and selections from Art Garfunkel's body of work. The in-flight programming will not be limited to New York Pop's performances, but will cover what Johnson described as "the spirit of the city."

Local travel agents and experts are buckling up for the tunes to come. "Any opportunity people have to experience classical music is a positive thing," commented James Marino, president of the Long Island Travel Agents Association.

"If inflight music can be included, and if this music can be pumped through our own native airports, that would certainly be a nice benefit," Marino said. "It's a really nice way to bring more classical music to the public."

American Airlines is also a sponsor of the New York Pops's concert series at Carnegie Hall.

Weigh in: Do you listen to in-flight music? Would you listen to the Pops channel?