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This summer, American gave me a new assignment as I mark my 25th year with the airline: the role of senior vice president of Customer Experience. In this new position at the company, my focus and mission is to enhance the experience that you — our valued customer — have when flying our airline around the country and around the world.
We are committed to examining how our airline interacts with our customers through all touch points in the travel experience, and we will be looking carefully at how we are doing to make travel convenient and enjoyable — and to find new ways to do so as we get you to the important places, people and moments in your life. I plan to use this column in American Way to keep you updated on our progress with initiatives we have underway today and those we plan for the future.
Today, we are working to improve your journey with us from start to finish — mindful that it really begins when you select and book your flight and ends as you pick up your bags upon arriving at your destination.
While there are countless examples of how we are working to improve the customer experience, one of the primary investments we are making to enhance your travel experience is technology. American revolutionized the airline industry more than 50 years ago when we introduced Sabre, the industry’s first computer reservations system. Today, we are confidently reclaiming our technology leadership. Over the past decade, we’ve collaborated with AA employees who have been working directly with our customers to develop and deploy new technology solutions that have transformed our airline from the inside out.
This summer, we responded to your request to stay better connected throughout the travel experience by launching a free application for the iPhone and the iPod Touch. After all, our customers are mobile by definition, and tools like this go a long way to enhancing the customer experience.
The new application leverages the device’s capability to bring our customers more unique and relevant features for their travel experience. For example, the phone’s intelligent data display allows us to provide you with the most relevant day-of-travel information in real time — from information about what gate you’re departing from to where you will sit and even where you are on the standby list. In fact, one of the app’s features that has customers buzzing is the helpful parking reminder that takes advantage of the phone’s camera and allows customers to take a photo of where they are parked at the airport so they can be visually reminded when they return home.
As I write, the AA app remains one of the top five free travel apps in Apple’s App Store, and we’re currently working to release unique iPad and Android applications as well. In fact, we have a team at American that is dedicated 100 percent to the development of mobile applications — both for our customers and for our employees — in a concentrated effort to improve the customer experience throughout the travel process and to give employees the tools they need to make better decisions and meet customer needs.
As I said at the beginning of this column, the people of American Airlines are committed to making your experience a good one. And we realize we aren’t and won’t always be perfect, but we want you to know that we are working hard, every day, to earn your business and loyalty. It is our job as a company to overcome our challenges while continuing to put our customers first. And, we hope our actions — even more than our words — will demonstrate that. Meanwhile, I look forward to keeping you updated each month.
Thanks for choosing American Airlines.
Craig S. Kreeger
Senior Vice President - Customer Experience