Sky Talk

Airline finance guy by day, dark ride enthusiast by night

Star-Telegram

During the week, you can find Jim Hall at American Airlines’ headquarters, pouring over liabilities spreadsheets and aircraft financing agreements.

But if you’re looking for him after hours, Hall is likely to be at an amusement park on a coaster or a dark ride.

I ran into Hall on Tuesday when I was playing hooky from covering airlines and instead was at Six Flags Over Texas writing about their new 4D dark ride, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis. He was giving media interviews about the new ride, saying he enjoyed being part of the storyline of fighting Lex Luthor and Joker to retake Metropolis.

Hall, director of corporate finance and treasury at American, said he’s been fascinated with dark rides since he was a kid in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“There was an amusement park there that is now closed for the most part and they had an old classic Bill Tracy dark ride,” Hall said. “It has a special place in my heart of that classic...the smell of the old ride you go through and those things popping out at you.”

The travel benefits he gets as an American employee help Hall get to ride more rides around the U.S. as part of the Darkrides and Funhouse Enthusiasts association.

“We do annual events at different parks all across the nation and it’s always helpful to be able to hop on a flight and go someplace to go ride a new ride or do a new park,” Hall said.

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