American Airlines to Deploy Apple iPhones to 20,000 Flight Attendants, iPads to Pilots to ‘Improve Customer Experience’

By Kurt Stolz on 23 June 2021
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American Airlines said Wednesday that it plans to equip its flight attendants with the new Apple iPhone 12 and its pilots with new iPads.

The airline announced this in a memorandum to employees from its chief information officer, Maya Leibman, that was viewed by Frequent Business Traveler.

The move, the carrier said, is intended to “improve our customer and team member experience.”

Leibman said that the consolidation onto the iOS platform will allow the airlines’ developers to create apps for a single operating system.

The iPhone 12 includes support for augmented reality, an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, functionality that American could take advantage of in multiple ways.

American is by far not the first airline to deploy iPhones to flight attendants and other customer-facing employees.  Delta announced plans to deploy the iPhone 12 at the end of April. British Airways gave its 15,000-cabin crew iPhone XRs in 2019 and United Airlines in 2017 began upgrading the iPhone 6S models that its flight attendants used to iPhone 7 Pluses.

Flight attendants at the world’s largest airline will begin to receive the new iPhones at the start of 2022.  It will have a “customized payment attachment” that cabin crew will use to accept payment, including touchless payments such as Apple Pay.

Airport agents at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport are already testing the iPhone 12 and all agents will receive the device within the next 12 months, Leibman said in the memo.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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