I want to say that I loved flying, but I also want to add the name of the airline company in my sentence.

So, what should I say?

I loved flying with American Airlines


I loved flying on American Airlines.

I've found on my Googling both "with" and "on", and now I'm even more confused than I was before...

4 Answers 4


Preposition choice is complicated and not always logical, but in this case, it appears that both can be used. You fly on an aircraft, so you fly on an airline's aircraft, so (using synecdoche) you fly on an airline. Similarly, you fly with the airline's crew, etc. Note that you can also say

I like to fly American Airlines

even though this sentence could also be interpreted as saying that you are doing the flying, or that you are taking American Airlines out for a fly, etc, the context makes it clear what you mean.

My personal preference is to use on or to leave the preposition out.

The best evidence I can find to demonstrate this is this ngram, where I searched for "flying with * airline" and "flying on * airline" enter image description here

  • That's a fascinating ngram. I'm left wondering if the blue peak corresponds to an advertising campaign.
    – Allan
    Jul 14, 2014 at 22:12

"I fly on American Airlines" is the most common usage I hear. It is correct because "American Airlines" is being used as a synecdoche. The name of the company is being used to refer to an aircraft operated by the company.


In everyday speech I would say 'I like flying American Airlines' (no preposition). 'flying on American Airlines ' or 'with American Airlines' sound more like a tv commercial.

  • As I recall, TV commercials used indeed to use such locutions as "fly United." Jul 12, 2014 at 23:17

You don't fly on American Airlines. American Airlines itself doesn't fly. It's a company, not an airplane. You fly with American Airlines.

(By contrast, when you're talking about the airplane itself, or the flight specifically, different prepositions apply: "I flew in my friend's Cessna", "I was on the 5 p.m. flight", etc.)

  • 3
    You could equally well say 'You don't fly with American Airlines. American Airlines itself doesn't fly. It's a company, not an airplane. You fly in an airplane of American Airlines.' In fact, accepted prepositional usage is often extremely difficult to justify logically; often, words have been standardly omitted which might justify the choice. Here, 'fly with ...' is certainly idiomatic (and an idiom), but that doesn't mean that 'fly on [an airplane of]' is unacceptable (there are many examples on the internet), or, as user3847 adds, 'fly ...'. Jul 12, 2014 at 23:30
  • 1
    But if you can say 'You don't fly on American (etc) Airlines', when people obviously do use that idiom, I can surely say 'You shouldn't be so dogmatic, especially without giving any supporting data'? Jul 12, 2014 at 23:44
  • 1
    @EdwinAshworth The issue I tried to raise is that though both uses are idiomatic, one of them (on) makes less sense than the other. Therefore, I consider the other (with) to be the better phrase to use.
    – Newb
    Jul 12, 2014 at 23:46
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    That doesn't sanction 'You don't fly on AmA', with the obvious implication that this is wrong choice. I've been speaking English for over 60 years, but I still check on usages and words I'm not familiar with before writing anything even half as dogmatic as this. (I've also just checked 4 articles I've got on 'preposition choice' – though this particular issue isn't addressed.) Jul 12, 2014 at 23:55
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    @EdwinAshworth Perhaps one does not fly on AA, but apparently one flies on BA: Q. I flew on British Airways between the U.S. and the U.K. before October 1, 2010. Will I earn AAdvantage miles for that flight? A. No. Flights flown prior to October 1 are not eligible for mileage accrual on British Airways flights between the U.S. and the U.K. There are other examples of flying on or flight on there on that American Airlines webpage. Well, or with that American Airlines webpage; your choice. :)
    – tchrist
    Jul 13, 2014 at 1:04

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