American Airlines' striped tail

An American Airlines jet with a striped tail sits at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. (Scott Olson / Getty Images / December 9, 2013)

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A month before American Airlines announced that it would merge with US Airways to form the world’s largest carrier, American unveiled a new logo and color scheme for its fleet of planes.

The decision to paint red, white and blue stripes on the planes’ tails was made when Tom Horton was chief executive of the Fort Worth-based airline. But now Doug Parker, former CEO of US Airways, is in charge of the new American Airlines.

Instead of living with Horton’s ruling, Parker announced last week that he is going to let his employees vote on the future design of the planes.

But to avoid repainting every plane from top to bottom — at a cost of between $100,000 and $200,000 — Parker told workers that they can vote only on the tail design: either the red, white and blue stripes or the old red-and-blue “AA” logo with a blue eagle.

Employees have until Jan. 2 to vote.

Which design does Parker prefer? “The answer is I honestly do not care,” he wrote to his employees. “I think both look fantastic.”

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