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American Airlines
Technology and IT team enhance customer experience and operational resilience

As American gears up to welcome more than 72 million customers this summer, technology and the company’s Information Technology (IT) team are playing a large role in improving the customer experience and supporting operational resilience.

The tech-first mindset is being channeled across the airline, enabling teams to reimagine solutions to both simple and complex problems using technology. What’s more, the IT organization’s approach to building, maintaining and securing American’s technology tools has evolved. Using industry-leading methodologies, the IT team has improved processes to mitigate disruptions, drive faster recovery during irregular operations and deliver new features to its mobile app and aa.com — all designed to make customers’ travel journeys easier.

 

Here’s a quick look at three ways technology will make a difference this summer:

Smart Gating uses machine learning to shorten taxi times and reduce ramp congestion

Introduced in 2021 and currently operating at five of American’s hubs, Smart Gating technology uses real-time flight information and other data points to automatically assign arriving aircraft to the nearest available gate with the shortest taxi time. The technology minimizes situations where arriving aircraft must wait for a gate, which means American’s customers spend less time waiting on the tarmac and more time getting to their final destinations.

The technology has reduced the time aircraft spend taxiing across the system by 17 hours per day, saving an estimated 1.4 million gallons of jet fuel each year and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 13,000 metric tons annually.

 

HEAT keeps American’s operation running during severe weather 

When severe weather threatens to disrupt the schedule, the Hub Efficiency Analytics Tool (HEAT) continues to help American recover faster and ensure customers and crew members get to where they need to be. Overall, the tool has prevented more than 1,000 cancellations since its launch.

HEAT shined in two recent events at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Miami International Airport (MIA). Both hubs were set to experience multi-hour storm events that would impact the terminal and surrounding airspace. HEAT dramatically reduced the number of cancellations associated with both the DFW and MIA weather events compared to similar events when HEAT was not used.

 

Customers manage travel online with ease 

Customers can book and manage their travel easier than ever before through a revamped digital experience across desktop and mobile devices. Customers can now make roughly 95% of the changes they might want to make to an itinerary online instead of having to call for support. For example, changes like the dates of a trip, the city the customer is flying from or to including connections, the type of fare and forms of payment as well as the ability to cancel a Basic Economy ticket and receive partial credit are now easier thanks to a more intuitive digital experience.

Planning for future trips is simpler now too. Customers who cancel a trip now receive credits immediately when they cancel, and those credits are easier to find in their profile than before for use on future travel.

May 29, 2024

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