Commentary
8/4/2010
12:08 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary

American Airlines' iPhone App Gets Timely Fix

Last week we noted a glitch in a new iPhone app from American Airlines that prevented some long-time members of the AmericanAdvantage club from being able to use the slick application, which helps orchestrate everything from check-ins to seat assignments to upgrades. American says it learned of the problem quickly and corrected the bug within hours.



Last week we noted a glitch in a new iPhone app from American Airlines that prevented some long-time members of the AmericanAdvantage club from being able to use the slick application, which helps orchestrate everything from check-ins to seat assignments to upgrades. American says it learned of the problem quickly and corrected the bug within hours.This little situation highlights the profound impact our newest wave of communications technologies is having on the ways in which and channels through which businesses today communicate with their customers--and how intensely tuned-in those customers are to what other customers are saying, as well as to what the business community is saying.

In my original post, I described the features of the app and noted the company's description of it:

Introducing the travel app that understands who you are and where you're going. From where you're departing and from what gate. Where you'll sit and even where you are on the standby list. Use it to change seats, access your mobile boarding pass, check your AAdvantage® miles, set a parking reminder and much more. It's perfect for flying through airports.

But I also noted some comments from frequent AA travelers and Advantage members who said they couldn't log in to the app because their membership number was required to include at least one letter, and theirs did not.

However, it sounds like American jumped on the issue and got it resolved very quickly.

American's director of advertising, promotions, and corporate communications Billy Sanez said in an email message, "Saw your post today and wanted to let you know that we fixed the alphanumeric issue within hours of the launch of our app." And a member of American's outside PR agency wrote to say that "I wanted to let you know that American remedied this issue the evening of July 26 - immediately after learning about the problem. The company posted messaging on the various message boards and Tweeted about it on the company's Twitter handle, @AAirwaves. I am hoping you can let your readers know that American addressed the issue last Monday based on initial feedback from those who had downloaded the new app."

Guys, thanks for the updates and happy to pass them along.

But one suggestion: on the iTunes page showing the app, the comments section still shows the two complaints I noted in my original post, plus a third one saying that the app is "useless to me until fixed." Seems like that's a spot where some additional communication is needed.

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