Passengers are going to start seeing more tablets on American Airlines flights. Later this year, flight attendants will start using the new Samsung Galaxy Note during flights to store customer information so they'll have it readily available. American Airlines will be the first airline to run a program like this.
American Airlines will add the tablets to their flights as part of its tablet program which will benefit flight crew and customers. With the tablets, flight attendants will be able to access customer information such as their name, seat number and loyalty program status. They'll be able to record meal and beverage choices for premium class members. They'll also be able to easily identify high-value customers and those that require special assistance. The tablets will also allow flight attendants to provide customers with information about connecting gates, flight delays and weather info if the FAA approves Wi-Fi access on planes.
"This is a huge step towards a new, modern American Airlines, as our tablet program is the first of its kind in the airline industry, where our flight attendants will have the most up-to-date customer information in the palms of their hands, allowing them to better serve our customers from boarding to deplaning," said Lauri Curtis, American's Vice President - Flight Service. "By giving a device to all of our active flight attendants we are better enabling our people to deliver an exceptional customer experience."
With FAA approval, flight attendants may also be able to handle transactions such as purchases on food on board.
The tablets will eventually contain flight attendant manuals so that flight attendants won't have to carry around heavy paper manuals. This transition will save the airlne fuel costs and it is environmentally friendly.
The airline started testing the program in the spring. They hope to have all of their 17,000 flight attendants using Samsung Galaxy Note tablets by mid-2013.
American chose the Samsung Galaxy Note after spending months testing different tablets. The tablet was selected due to its thin, portable design, SAFE security features and a 5.3-inch HD display that is easy to read. THe Samsung Galaxy Note received positive feedback from the flight attendants that tested it.
"We're pioneering important new technologies as part of our continued effort to build a new American and return to industry leadership," said Maya Leibman, American's Chief Information Officer. "As we continue to evolve into a more modern airline and explore ways to enhance the travel experience, we are giving our people the tools they need to offer our loyal customers ease of travel both in the air and on the ground."
The Samsung Galaxy Note isn't the only tablet that will be used on American Airlines flights. Pilots will use iPads during all phases of a flight as the tablets will replace the heavy 35-pound flight bag that contains manuals and navigation material.
"From inflight entertainment to customer management, American Airlines is deploying cutting-edge technology to enhance the customer experience," said Timothy Wagner, Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Sales for Samsung Mobile. "By pairing the power and performance of Samsung devices with the capabilities of their inflight teams, American is truly becoming the airline of the future - today."