American Announces Premium Economy & Innovative Airport Screening

American Airlines
Travel News 14 Nov 2016

American Airlines has kept busy with their recent ventures to remain ahead of the airline game.

In an effort to acquire the overseas traveler market seeking extra perks at a lower price, American will be the first U.S. airline to offer a premium economy cabin on international flights. The revamped product will include an unprecedented 38 inches of legroom, extendable foot, leg and headrests, larger seat-back monitors, as well as new and improved menu options with complimentary wine, beer and spirits. The new international Premium Economy launch date is set for November 4, when American begins flying its fleet Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

“As the first U.S. airline to introduce Premium Economy seating on international flights, we continue to innovate new ways to meet our customers’ expectations with the products and service they value,” said American’s chief marketing officer Andrew Nocella.

 

American also plans to retrofit its existing fleets in a $3 billion investment. The Dallas-based airline will be granting AAdvantage rewards members the exclusive opportunity to test drive the new product with free upgrades. Seats will go on-sale to the general public beginning in the new year.

In a separate venture, American Airlines has joined forces with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) by investing $5 million to install next generation security screening technology, to expedite security screening wait-times. The new technology will automate functions that are currently carried out manually, allowing passengers a swifter move through security checkpoints.

The TSA and American Airlines plan to introduce automated security checkpoints at four major airport hubs this fall: Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Miami International Airport.

American predicts the solution will reduce the security screening process by nearly 30 percent according to chief operating officer, Robert Isom. Here is what to expect:

  • Automated belts that draw bags into the X-ray machines, and return bins back to queue after screening is complete.

  • Bags with a potential threat will be diverted, allowing bins behind to continue through without disruption.

  • Property bins that are 25 percent larger than the bins in regular screening lanes.

  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags will be attached to each bin to guarantee the correct bag is pulled in the event further screening is required.

  • Cameras linked to the X-ray image of the bag’s contents capture photos outside of the bag.

American Airlines is also partnering with the TSA to pilot use of computer tomography scanners (CT scanners) to screen carry-on bags at Phoenix International Airport starting later this year. If successful, passengers will no longer have to remove laptops, liquids and gels from their bags during security screening.

We equally expect other major airlines to follow suit in the near future as a response to the growing concern for airport security screening. Airlines are stepping up to improve the safety of their passengers and perfect the security screening process.