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July 30, 2010

American Airlines iPhone app - something weird

American Airlines has introduced its own iPhone app (don't know if they previously had other smartphone apps or if they will be doing one).

Upon reading the description of what it can do, it sounds very cool. Monitor your status for upgrades, set parking reminders, and things like that.

But there's one rather strange addition to the product description, something that just jumped out at me and said "LOOK AT ME! I'M WEIRD!!!!!" (It then proceeded to pummel me upside the head until I decided that maybe I should take notice of this)

Here's the description, from the app's web site:

  • Enter your login & password only once: saving your info allows the app to push your upcoming flight details to your home screen, automatically
  • Set a parking reminder
  • Monitor your place on the standby list
  • Track your Elite Status progress
  • View personal flight details: get your gate, seat and flight status info at a glance
  • Access your mobile boarding pass: the app saves it for you, so it’s always easy to find
  • Use GPS to locate the nearest American Airlines serviced airport
  • View terminal maps
  • Play Sudoku


What the hell? "Play Sudoku?"

I don't know about you, but in my list of airline apps to keep track of all of my travel stuff, "Play Sudoku" is not really that high on it.

(not a real AA Sudoku image...but would be cool if it was!)

There's a bunch of other stuff you can do on the app to help manage your AA Advantage account, even down to booking flights.

At the end, they say:

"We are developing our plans for future functionality to be included in our American Airlines app. Please send us your feedback. We are listening."

That's all well and good, and I'm happy that they're listening. But the first time they get a suggestion for something that every traveler needs, I can just imagine somebody in the design team slapping their forehead and saying "we could have put that in there instead of Sudoku!"

I realize that people waiting at airports need stuff to do, besides, eating, drinking, reading newspapers, reading books, talking on their phone, watching a movie on their laptop, ummmm...what was I saying again?

Oh yeah! Yes, passengers need stuff to do while waiting at airports. But surely if they're interested in Sudoku, and they've got an iPhone, they've already downloaded at least one Sudoku app? Something that's dedicated to Sudoku and not an afterthought in some app that has nothing to do with Sudoku?

Am I the only person who finds that inclusion strange?

(Note: I have downloaded the app because I do fly American most often when I fly, but I obviously haven't tried the app yet. I'm just commenting on the strangeness in the product description. So I'm not advocating this app at all.

At least not yet)


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