Sunday, June 02, 2019

20 Years Ago on June 2, 1999 -- Flight 1420 Crash Forces a Lineup Change

June 2, 1999: We originally led with a Business Travel promo featuring airplane stock art and "book a flight" text, though you can see the My News headline below: "Jet Skids Off Ark. Runway: 80 Hurt." This was Flight 1420, which eventually claimed 11 lives:
With lessons learned from prior plane crashes, we and the AOL service had a protocol in place to deal with plane crashes: Don't promote airline stuff after plane crashes. Which meant replacing content and pulling ads from rotation. In this case, we quickly switched to another evergreen Travel promo for the Cruise Directory:
As we got more info (the crash happened late Tuesday night), we switched to news mode:
For the PM update, we continued with the story, changing the photo to an anguished crash reaction pic:
[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

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