American Airlines introduced the first transcontinental jet service using Boeing 707s on January 25, 1959. With its 707s American shifted to nonstop coast-to-coast flights, although it maintained feeder connections to cities along its old route using smaller Convair 990s and Lockheed Electras. American invested $440 million in jet aircraft up to 1962, launched the first electronic booking system (Sabre) with IBM, and built an upgraded terminal at Idlewild (now JFK) Airport in New York City which became the airline's largest base. In the 1960s, Mattel released a series of American Airlines stewardess Barbie dolls, signifying their growing commercial success. Vignelli Associates designed the AA eagle logo in 1967. Vignelli attributes the introduction of his firm to American Airlines to Henry Dreyfuss, the legendary AA design consultant. The logo is still in use today.
By September 1970, American Airlines was offering its first long haul international flights from the West Coast to Honolulu and on to Sydney and Auckland via American Samoa and Nadi.
A fictitious "American Airlines Space Freighter", the Valley Forge, was the setting for the 1971 science fiction movie Silent Running, starring Bruce Dern and directed by Douglas Trumbull. The freighter featured the then-new "AA" logo on the hull, along with the crew uniforms and several set pieces.
On March 30, 1973 AA became the first major airline to employ a female pilot when Bonnie Tiburzi was hired to fly Boeing 727s. American Airlines has been innovative in other aspects initiating several of the industry's major competitive developments including computer reservations systems, frequent flyer loyalty programs and two-tier wage scales .