Free Tablets For American Airlines First Class Passengers

If you fly first class on American Airlines, they’ll loan you a Samsung Galaxy Tab to play with on the flight. This is a really & innovative and smart perk -I first read about this on Mashable, and the more I think about it, the cooler this idea becomes. The downside is you that you obviously have to return it when the flight is over, and you wont have all of your favorite apps & games installed on it, but in my opinion this is way better than a TV in the headrest like JetBlue and other airlines give you. These tablets will replace the current TV/entertainment system being used, which will probably cut down on their maintenance costs for the airline as well – while I have no idea if this move ends up saving more money than it costs, it’s definitely a big improvement for the passenger.

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Here are some opportunities for American to really make these tablets be the most enjoyable for customers:

  1. Make sure they are installed with lots of games and apps. Work with premium app & game makers to let you pre-install them with trial versions of the apps that passengers can try out during their flight, then have the opportunity to buy at a discount on their phones or home tablets once they land.
  2. Create a custom app where passengers can order drinks, snacks or otherwise communicate with the flight staff
  3. Offer a special promotion to First Class passengers to buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab after their flight at a discount – after they play with it a few hours, they might like it so much they’ll want to purchase one themselves. Given you’re selling to first class passengers, chances are they have the discretionary income to spend on a tablet, especially the Galaxy tab which is relatively affordable at $350 on Amazon.
  4. Free Wi-Fi! Make sure to give passengers Wi-Fi so they can research their destination, read some news & blogs, check their email and otherwise enjoy the web.
  5. Disable the sound unless the passenger is using headphones – there is nothing worse than hearing chimes & sound effects from games coming from someone sitting near you.
  6. Load travel related apps onto the phone like Expedia, Trip Advisor, Open Table and Yelp to help passengers make last minute plans
  7. Make sure the tablets stay virus & spyware free – it would be a PR nightmare if someone hacked these to collect personal information, as passengers are likely to sign in to their email and possibly even buy things online using these tablets
  8. Sanitize them thoroughly between flights to avoid these tablets turning into giant germ collections
  9. After each flight also consider removing any apps or customizations the previous passenger made by wiping the tablet back to factory settings (this would also remove any potential spyware/malware)

This kind of makes me wish I fly American, but right now I’m still trying to earn my way to elite status on US Airways. I guess I’ll have to resort to buying a Galaxy Tab myself :)

2 Responses to “Free Tablets For American Airlines First Class Passengers”

  1. Being in the travel industry, I’m compelled to comment. In theory this is a great amenity to offer passengers. Unfortunately most 1st class folks will probably never get a chance to use it. Why? AA will stock bare minimum and therefore not have enough to cover all 1st classers; or they will offer it to other class passengers for a “nominal fee” which they would then prefer to have as a source of revenue. Also, AA’s on time rate is subpar – I avoid them at any and all costs. I was an honorary platinum member for using them so often in my business travel and even still I never had an on time flight with AA. Possibly just an unlucky traveler. A story keeps popping into my mind: On my way home from Japan (in first class) AA offered the “new” Bose headphones complimentary for the long 12 hour flight. Quite nice as I also used them as noise reduction to sleep. The sky hag decided we had enough of the headphones and forced us to relinquish 3 hours before our landing. What a nice little lady she was. One last little piece of info: connecting your smart phone or other device does NOT interfere with the airplane nor towers. They ask you not to use them for control factor.

  2. Wow, that is crazy about the headphones. I can see your skepticism as to whether this perk will be as nice in practice as it sounds in paper. I don’t fly AA either :)

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