Is AA Ever going to Modernize Check-Ins, Gates, etc?

 
Old Aug 24, 09, 4:46 pm
  #1  
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Is AA Ever going to Modernize Check-Ins, Gates, etc?

Does anyone know if AA ever plans to upgrade their check-ins/gates like DAL/UAL. I am EXP on AA but occasionally fly others when I have to. I know DAL asks when you check-in at the kiosk if you want to be put on the volunteer list if they are oversold. Also, DAL and UAL always show exactly how many have checked or not checked in and available seats in each class right at the monitor on the gate. This gives you a good idea of your status for upgrades/standbys/bumps. All AA does is have a standby list and an upgrade list. There is no way to know anything about any open seats on that flight. I like to volunteer if I have extra time and it is a pain to stand at the counter waiting until an agent arrives to ask. DAL and UAL seem a lot more with the times. FWIW, I haven't been on too many oversold AA flights this year.
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Old Aug 24, 09, 4:53 pm
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You might want to read some of the threads in the Delta and United forums about how "good" those options are. Continental does the same thing. I think I read more on "complaining" that the process doesn't work (they don't understand why the numbers change, why they moved etc). I see this as mainly the inability for technology to explain what is going on in a clear fashion (at least on those carriers).

Versus AA. You can ask an agent and get a real life reply as to what is going on with the flight and why/why not something may happen.

While yes, AA may appear behind the times on some of these gate options, I have a feeling that playing it safe in this manner actually decreases confusion and complaints by those who might not fully understand what the monitor is trying to tell them.

YMMV.
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Old Aug 24, 09, 4:59 pm
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Originally Posted by AAExpDFW View Post

While yes, AA may appear behind the times on some of these gate options, I have a feeling that playing it safe in this manner actually decreases confusion and complaints by those who might not fully understand what the monitor is trying to tell them.

YMMV.
To put it another way- there is definitely room for improvement in the AA displays (although remember how it was before they even had upgrade/standby lists) but what UA have done may not be the best solution for the non-FT traveler as it may result in more confusion than enlightenment.

Given AA's ability to represent information clearly, perhaps we should be thankful that they haven't tried improvements like this as yet.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 24, 09, 5:16 pm
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Originally Posted by zdcatc12 View Post
FWIW, I haven't been on too many oversold AA flights this year.
If the planes are mostly full, and not oversold (i.e., no compensation being given out), doesn't that tell you that AA is doing something right?
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Old Aug 24, 09, 8:57 pm
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I think AA should allow pax to see more information on the flight status screen and have it include at least a map. It would be nice if AA would display whether or not equipment has GoGo internet and power outlets (now that they have two different types with the new 738s).

As for the gate departure screens, they do show meal, stand-by, upgrade, and arrival information. Unfortunately we don't have them in STL and I'm not holding my breath for installation of them here.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 12:37 am
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Originally Posted by CO FF View Post
If the planes are mostly full, and not oversold (i.e., no compensation being given out), doesn't that tell you that AA is doing something right?
That depends. The seats might be getting sold too cheaply.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by AAExpDFW View Post
You might want to read some of the threads in the Delta and United forums about how "good" those options are. Continental does the same thing. I think I read more on "complaining" that the process doesn't work (they don't understand why the numbers change, why they moved etc). I see this as mainly the inability for technology to explain what is going on in a clear fashion (at least on those carriers).

Versus AA. You can ask an agent and get a real life reply as to what is going on with the flight and why/why not something may happen.

While yes, AA may appear behind the times on some of these gate options, I have a feeling that playing it safe in this manner actually decreases confusion and complaints by those who might not fully understand what the monitor is trying to tell them.

YMMV.
AA's upgrade and standby lists displayed on the monitors are in flux just as UA's are. So any confusion that happens with the UA lists should also happen with the AA list. The key difference is that UA gives you a number of passengers checked in out of the number of seats in each cabin. You can still ask a UA gate agent and get a real life reply as to what is going on with a flight and why/why not something may happen. Giving that one piece of information - # of pax checked in - reduces the amount of time a gate agent has to spend answering questions like whether or not first class is full.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 9:32 am
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Originally Posted by DCAstudent View Post
Giving that one piece of information - # of pax checked in - reduces the amount of time a gate agent has to spend answering questions like whether or not first class is full.
Actually, it really doesn't. As we know well, "checked-in" doesn't tell who is really there and going to board the plane any more than "booked" (well, maybe a tad more). In the day of OLCI, many of those "checked-in" are not at the airport- either still on the road, or an inbound plane. I never rely on "checked-in full" as an indication that my upgrade won't clear.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 11:37 am
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
Actually, it really doesn't. As we know well, "checked-in" doesn't tell who is really there and going to board the plane any more than "booked" (well, maybe a tad more). In the day of OLCI, many of those "checked-in" are not at the airport- either still on the road, or an inbound plane. I never rely on "checked-in full" as an indication that my upgrade won't clear.

Cheers.
I would say the difference is far more than a "tad." The checked-in number displayed at UA gates is adjusted for misconnects (and I think AA could figure out how to do the same), leaving only people who check-in but never show up or bother to cancel (or show up too late) as the source of inflation on the "checked-in" number. The number of people booked for a flight can be dozens (or even over a hundred in the case of some routes) higher than the number of seats. The number of people who check-in but never show up or bother to cancel is not nearly that high.

I'm normally a big cheerleader for AA against UA, but I do think the UA displays are better. They are especially "soothing" as a NRSA traveler when we (at least those of us who can't see flights in real time after they go under airport control) know only how many people are booked on the flight, which for some markets (i.e. HKG) means absolutely nothing.

In addition, one other aspect of the UA displays that has cut back on questions posed to gate agents has been the seat maps. They simply show which seats are window, aisle, and middle. It cuts back on all of the "Do I have a window seat?" questions.
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Old Aug 25, 09, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by DCAstudent View Post

I'm normally a big cheerleader for AA against UA, but I do think the UA displays are better. They are especially "soothing" as a NRSA traveler when we (at least those of us who can't see flights in real time after they go under airport control) know only how many people are booked on the flight, which for some markets (i.e. HKG) means absolutely nothing.
I try to cheer based on reality,and not brand loyalty. Fact is, I know little about UA so I can't cheer one way or the other. From what you say about the UA displays, the information they display and the way they're updated (the misconnect part is cool), they really do seem to be a full cut (if not more) above.

That said, I wouldn't hold my breath?

Cheers.
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