2

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

or

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...

3

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 '14 at 22:12
2

"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.

1

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." – Brian Donovan Jul 12 '14 at 23:17
0

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 ...'. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 12 '14 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'? – Edwin Ashworth Jul 12 '14 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 '14 at 23:46
  • 1
    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.) – Edwin Ashworth Jul 12 '14 at 23:55
  • 1
    @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 '14 at 1:04

protected by RegDwigнt Mar 10 '16 at 21:33

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.