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1/25/2008
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American Airlines Adds Services For Mobile Phones

The airline also will roll out an enhanced mobile Web site later this spring with new features, such as the option to book flights, change reservations, and view fare specials.

American Airlines this week introduced a mobile version of its Web site in hopes of improving the customer experience for its passengers, who will be able to check in for flights and view itineraries on their mobile phones, in addition to other services.

Customers with Internet-enabled mobile phones and PDAs initially will be able to use the mobile version of AA.com to check in for a flight, view an itinerary, check schedules, check flight status, and get weather information at airports, American said.

AA.com has been optimized to recognize when a person is accessing it via a mobile phone. It offers condensed content, a simpler design, and easier navigation for smaller screens. Customers also have the option to access the full HTML version of the AA.com site, depending on their preferences.

American will roll out an enhanced mobile Web site later this spring with new features, such as the option to book flights, change reservations, and view fare specials right on mobile phones. The site also will be available in Spanish, the airline said.

The airline industry is increasingly embracing mobile technology to improve the way passengers travel and to speed up the check-in process in many cases.

In December, the Transportation Security Administration and Continental Airlines lauched a pilot program that allows airline passengers to board planes with electronic boarding passes on their cell phones or PDAs.

With the Paperless Boarding Pass pilot program, which was kicked off in Houston, passengers receive boarding passes electronically on their cell phones or PDAs and they're scanned by TSA security officers with handheld scanners at checkpoints. The paperless boarding passes contain a two-dimensional bar code, as well as passenger and flight information. This helps identify the passenger.

There are several benefits to enabling electronic boarding passes, TSA said. First, it eliminates the need for a paper boarding pass, which can easily be misplaced. Second, the technology will help detect fraudulent documents. Third, it will help improve customer service and speed up the boarding process.

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