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Samsung’s Galaxy Note to become official ‘phablet’ for American Airlines flight attendants

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Samsung exec predicts Galaxy Note II sales will triple original Galaxy Note
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Samsung exec predicts Galaxy Note II sales will triple original Galaxy Note

We’ve been hearing about companies deploying iPads to their workforces for a long time now, but Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy Note phablet is about to get some love from Corporate America as well. American Airlines on Wednesday said that it would be giving Galaxy Notes to all 17,000 of its flight attendants to use as in-flight data management devices that will provide “greater access to more information about the customers onboard their flight.”

The reason that American Airlines chose the Note seems pretty straight forward: They give flight attendants plenty of screen space they can use to bring up customer records and data, but are also small enough to be easily pocketed in cramped spaces.

American Airlines says the “new devices will be a strategic tool for flight attendants” to “access customer information,” “record meal and beverage preferences” and “provide customers with connecting gate, flight delays and weather information.” American Airlines’ full press release follows below.

American Airlines Flight Attendants to Make Travel More Personalized With Innovative Inflight Tablet Program

American’s Tablet Program Planned to be the First of its Kind for any Airline

FORT WORTH, Texas – A more personalized inflight experience will become a reality later this year as American Airlines flight attendants begin using the sleek, new Samsung Galaxy Note® as part of American’s innovative tablet program designed to put invaluable customer data at their fingertips.

“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, American’s Vice President – Flight Service. “By giving a device to all of our active flight attendants we are better enabling our people to deliver an exceptional customer experience.”

The new devices will be a strategic tool for flight attendants giving them greater access to more information about the customers onboard their flight. To better serve customers, American’s flight attendants can use the device to:

  • Access customer information such as name, seat number and loyalty program status in a seat map view and customer list view;
  • Record meal and beverage preferences for premium class customers;
  • Easily identify high-value customers seated in the premium cabins and in the main cabin, and customers requiring special assistance; and,
  • Provide customers with connecting gate, flight delays and weather information – pending FAA approval, all information will be automatically updated when Wi-Fi is available on the aircraft.

American intends to use the devices for transactions onboard the aircraft such as purchasing food inflight, pending FAA approval. The Samsung Galaxy Note is a SAFE™-designated device that offers a full portfolio of enterprise-ready features and capabilities. Additional functionality such as the addition of the flight attendant manual and more will continue to roll out over time. Adding the manual to the device will eventually eliminate the need for flight attendants to carry paper manuals – a more fuel efficient and environmentally-friendly approach.

American began piloting the program this spring.  Beginning later this year through mid-2013, American will roll out the selected devices to all of its approximately 17,000 flight attendants. The Samsung Galaxy Note was chosen based on flight attendant feedback after months of testing different devices. Through testing, the Samsung Galaxy Note was ultimately selected because of its thin, portable design, easy to handle profile, SAFE security features, and 5.3-inch HD display that provide wide-screen readability and the functionality necessary to equip flight attendants with the ability to better know their customers and deliver the service they value.

“We’re pioneering important new technologies as part of our continued effort to build a new American and return to industry leadership,” said Maya Leibman, American’s Chief Information Officer. “As we continue to evolve into a more modern airline and explore ways to enhance the travel experience, we are giving our people the tools they need to offer our loyal customers ease of travel both in the air and on the ground.”

Furthering its efforts to advance airspace modernization, American Airlines announced earlier this month that it is expanding its Electronic Flight Bag program for pilots after becoming the first commercial carrier to receive FAA approval to use a tablet device in the cockpit during all phases of flight.

“From inflight entertainment to customer management, American Airlines is deploying cutting-edge technology to enhance the customer experience,” said Timothy Wagner, Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Sales for Samsung Mobile. “By pairing the power and performance of Samsung devices with the capabilities of their inflight teams, American is truly becoming the airline of the future – today.”

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