FORT WORTH, Texas - American Airlines and American Eagle have made a host of improvements at the three New York area airports to help get passengers through the airport more quickly and easily.
“We’ve been working hard to improve the passenger experience at LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark,” said Tom Gleason, vice president of Passenger Sales for American’s Eastern Division. “The safety and security of our customers remains our top priority. Still, we knew that we also had to make the airport experience more friendly and hassle free for our New York area customers, and we have done a lot to make that happen.”
Here is a summary of the enhancements at all three airports:
At JFK, American and American Eagle have increased the number of security checkpoint screening stations by 62 percent since September, permitting the addition of 85 screeners to the process. The airlines also have increased the number of explosive trace devices at both the security checkpoints and the ticketing lobby.
To further assist passengers, the airlines have opened the ticket counter and checkpoints 30 minutes earlier on peak days to handle passengers on early flights. And for premium passengers, including first and business class, as well as Executive Platinum®, Platinum® and Gold AAdvantage® members, the airlines have implemented express queues at security checkpoints.
At LaGuardia, American and American Eagle have opened 16 new ticket counter positions in Terminal B for American’s Florida flights, doubling American’s ticket counter capacity at LaGuardia Airport. Last month American installed additional curbside check-in units, OneStop Self-Service kiosks, and a fifth security checkpoint to expedite customers going straight to the gate.
At Newark, American adjusted ticket counter hours to accommodate peak passenger check-in times between 6:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. on weekdays. American has also implemented express queues with additional passenger service representatives at security checkpoint screening lines for first and business class passengers, Admirals Club members and passengers with special needs.
Gleason said that, while a separate queue is provided, customers using the express queues still undergo the same level of security scrutiny as customers in the regular queues.
Other airports with express queues include Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Los Angeles, Boston, Kansas City, Cleveland, Reno, Detroit, Houston Intercontinental, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Jose, Calif., San Diego, Seattle and Sacramento. Express queues are planned at more airports.
In addition, American has trained tens of thousands of airport employees in the new security procedures, which include 100 percent bag screening. American uses a multitude of bag screening methods, including explosive detection systems, explosive trace devices, physical searches and positive passenger bag match to meet the requirement under the new Aviation Transportation and Security Act.
Even with an increased emphasis on security, American has been able to provide several automated products to help customers navigate their way through the airport.
More than 180 OneStop Self-Service kiosks at 26 airports - with another two dozen airports scheduled for 2002 - allow passengers with electronic tickets to check in for a domestic flight, select or change their seat assignment, check baggage and obtain boarding passes.
American also offers more than 300 mobile curbside check-in units in more than 80 cities for customers traveling domestically on paper or electronic tickets. Passengers may use curbside service to check bags and receive a boarding pass and then go through security and straight to the gate.
The airline has also introduced Roving Agent, a portable device that allows American agents to approach passengers traveling without checked baggage to complete their check-in transaction. Roving Agent, available now in eight airports, also provides dynamic flight information to assist employees in answering customers’ questions
American relaunched its innovative Telephone Check-in service in late January to further streamline airport processing. This convenient nationwide service allows Executive Platinum, Platinum and Gold AAdvantage members traveling domestically on an electronic ticket without checked baggage to check in by telephone and then proceed directly to airport security and on to their gates. From now until June 30, 2002, customers using Telephone Check-In for the first time are eligible to receive a one-time bonus of 500 AAdvantage miles.