Apple may have won the fight for the cockpit, but Samsung has gotten its devices into the hands of flight attendants.
American Airlines this week announced that their flight attendants will begin using the Samsung Galaxy Note later this year to keep tabs on passengers. Using the devices, flight attendants will be able to access a customer's name, seat number, and loyalty program status. The Galaxy Note will also be used to record the meal preferences of premium class flyers, and identify "high-value" passengers or those who need special assistance. Pending U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval, the devices will also provide information on flight connections, delays, and weather.
“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, vice president of flight service for American. “By giving a device to all of our active flight attendants we are better enabling our people to deliver an exceptional customer experience.”
American also intends to use the Galaxy Note for in-flight purchases, pending FAA approval. American cited the device's enterprise-ready features and security as the reason for its choice.
This announcement comes just one week after American announced that it had received approval from the FAA to use Apple iPads during all phases of flights. The company hopes to use the tablets to replace the heavy, bulky paper kitbag manuals that pilots carry onto their flights. It estimates the move will save $1.2 million on fuel costs annually.