American Airlines takes hold of the mobile future

Stephen Whiteside

"If you define the mobile experience, it would be an airline: our employees are mobile; our customers are mobile; our assets are mobile. Everything about us is mobile," Phil Easter, director of mobile apps at American Airlines, told delegates at the APPNATION Cross Platform Summit, held in New York in mid-2013. "We're all in to mobile."

Should further demonstration be required of the potential that connected devices like smartphones and tablets hold for the company, Easter revealed that almost eight million people have downloaded its apps from an iPhone, iPad or Android-powered alternative to date. Moreover, the carrier currently accrues over $1 million per day in sales on the iPad alone.

Tailoring the customer experience

"When you think about just doing an app, you think its three guys in a garage. But when you have a big brand, it takes a lot to put out. And it's mission critical; recently we had a minor issue, an outage, and because our numbers are so high now, we're actually a legitimate channel, and accountable. Now executives are looking at the mobile channel," said Easter.