American Airlines says it is “revolutionizing the travel experience” by launching digital tools and increasing contactless points of entry. The Fort-Worth-based carrier announced the initiative as the U.S. sees a significant uptrend in aviation activity.
In the coming months, American Airlines passengers can look forward to digital travel tools, touch-free check-in and bag drop, as well as online updates regarding entry requirements of their destination.
A tumultuous year for the aviation industry is starting to look up as more Americans resume travel. While the vaccine rollout accelerates, airlines are reporting an increase in bookings for the upcoming spring and summer seasons.
Accordingly, carriers are conceptualizing new initiatives while enhancing safety measures in efforts to raise confidence in air travel.
Speaking on the announcement, Vice President of Customer Experience and Reservations, Julie Rath said:
“While fewer customers have traveled over the last year, our team used their time to go into overdrive developing, testing and implementing new ways to give customers more confidence and comfort when they travel. We’re ready to welcome customers back onboard with thoughtful, touchless technology that puts more control in their hands and makes their journeys more comfortable.”
American is piloting a touchless bag drop at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Travelers choosing to enroll in the trial will be able to test biometric technology to drop their bags without the need for their physical ID or boarding pass.
The carrier will extend the touchless technology to the entrance of the Admirals Club at DFW later this year while also exploring the concept at other touchpoints within the airport.
While visiting the Admirals Club, travelers will have touch-free access to news and magazines, which they may download for their trip – via QR code or read.aa.com – by connecting to the complimentary Admirals Club Wi-Fi signal. The carrier is also planning to launch mobile ordering in select lounges later this spring.
American aims to evolve the travel experience by leveraging technology at waypoints, including a test of biometric domestic boarding in collaboration with DFW later this year.
American’s interactive map allows users to make an informed decision on where to travel and what to expect upon arrival. With this feature, travelers can review entry requirements and health restrictions before booking their trip, with updates sent to their email in real time. Additionally, customers can view nearby testing sites for travel to Mexico and the Caribbean, with more countries to be added soon.
The Travel Tool lets Americans apply for eVisas and travel documents for countries that require them. This includes key information including price, duration of maximum stay, validity, and processing time.
Moreover, the American Airlines app gives customers the option to chat live with a representative or interact with a virtual assistant. Travelers can skip the kiosk by completing check-in on the app and printing tags for their baggage.
Digital Passport and At-Home Test Kit
Earlier this year, American was the first U.S. airline to introduce a health passport for international travel to the U.S. The VeriFly app aims to streamline check-in by allowing travelers to upload required documentation, such as test results, directly to the app for digital verification.
Furthermore, American provides at-home COVID-19 test kits for passengers. The test kit is recommended at least five days prior to the flight. It arrives within 24-48 hours of scheduling a UPS pickup and is to be activated online. Once the sample is collected, the test can be returned using the prepaid UPS label provided in the kit. The results are typically available within 48 hours of arriving at the lab and sent to the individual’s online account.
To view American Airlines’ travel policies, please visit their website.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories