By Roger Yu, USA TODAY
American Airlines agents who roam airport check-in lobbies with a handheld computing device can now print boarding passes.
To prevent long lines at check-in counters and self-service kiosks, the carrier began experimenting with the device — called Your Assistance Delivered Anywhere — in October at Boston Logan. They're now available for agents at nine airports: Dallas/Fort Worth, Albuquerque, Boston, Chicago, New York JFK, New York LaGuardia, Miami, St. Louis and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The device can also check flight status, provide connecting information, display maps of other airports and print baggage tags for customers checking luggage.
The device will be deployed during peak traffic hours and after canceled or delayed flights. "Our agents are going to approach you," spokeswoman Stacey Frantz says.
The boarding passes printed by the device are smaller than the ones issued by counter agents or kiosks, but are approved by the Transportation Security Administration.
Frantz says the carrier will introduce the service at more airports by the end of the year and eventually assign agents to use the device at every gate.
Customers still have to see counter agents or use self-service kiosks for more complicated transactions, such as checking in for international flights or upgrading with miles.