American Airlines Now Up To 23,000 Samsung Galaxy Tablets

American Airlines Now Up To 23,000 Samsung Galaxy Tablets

Summary: The airline is aggressively deploying Samsung mobile devices in the cabins and iPads in the cockpits. Who knew we could all get along?


American Airlines is rolling out 17,000 Samsung Galaxy Note mini tablets (or phablets, if you must) to its flight attendants to improve and personalize its customer service.

Flight attendants will be able to record customer meal and beverage preferences, access customer info and better identify high-value customers or those needing special assistance. The 5.3-inch Notes were chosen after months of testing and attendant feedback.  

Galaxy_Note_AA Press Release


The 17,000 Notes are in addition to the 6,000 Samsung Galaxy Tabs that the airline said in June 2011 that it would roll out as weight-saving in-flight entertainment devices.

According to a Samsung spokeswoman, the Tabs are already available to business-class travelers on its long-haul flights. 

These 23,000 Samsung tablets would make American Airlines the biggest enterprise user of Android devices publicly known to date (see my list).

Don't forget: this is all in addition to the iPads that AA says will be used by pilots in cockpits to replace heavy paper charts and manuals. American Airlines has 10,000 pilots.

With up to 10,000 iPads, along with 23,000 Samsung Galaxy devices, American will have 33,000 modern tablets in use by the 75,000+ employees that the airline expects to have after its latest round of layoffs. That's up to 44% of its workers!

Topics: ÜberTech, Android, iPad, Mobility, Samsung

Eric Lai

About Eric Lai

I have tracked technology for more than 15 years, as an award-winning journalist and now as in-house thought leader on the mobile enterprise for SAP. Follow me here at ÜberMobile as well as my even less-filtered musings on Twitter @ericylai

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  • Note 1 or 2?

    Just to clarify: Are these the Galaxy Note 1?
    • It is Note 1, but there is not that much difference, no real harm to ...

      ... experience.

      Though it is debatable whether AA would better wait a month to see if iPad mini will do the job more efficiently.
      • Are you kidding?

        The Galaxy Note is not a 7" Tablet, it is a 5.3" phone with great features and an awesome phone.
        • "Phone" part does not mean much in airlines

          So no issue here with iPad mini.
          • Good point

            The flight attendants won't be making many calls 20K feet up in the air
  • I think so, based on the size

    The press release notes a 5.3-inch screen size. The as-yet-unreleased Galaxy Note II is 5.5".
  • 10000 pilots ≠ 10000 iPads

    Does each pilot carry around a copy of those heavy paper charts and manuals?
    Eric, would it make more sense that 1 iPad per plane. How many planes do they have?
    • About 900 planes

      See http://www.aa.com/i18n/amrcorp/corporateInformation/facts/fleet.jsp

      To me, it actually makes more sense that it's 1 iPad per pilot, not per plane. After all, with the old-school flight bags, didn't each pilot own his own bag, documents and maps? And if you share the iPads, the pilots can't info/data personalized to their work, routes, etc.

      Perhaps a real pilot could weigh in here?
      • Not a commercial pilot, but ...

        ... when I was flying as a student private pilot, in a tiny plane, one of the biggest hassles was getting weather reports, filing flight plans, etc. on antiquated equipment. Not to mention carrying around manuals and charts and such for pre-flight checklists, airport approaches, etc. And managing all that information physically takes work. Imagine that multiplied by whatever for a commercial passenger airliner with much more in the way of electronics, mechanicals, hydraulics, etc.

        So it makes sense for each pilot to have a tablet.
  • Haha

    So the pilots get the good stuff and everyone else gets the cheap stuff. Typical.
    • yeah

      Hopefully the pilots won't be using Apple Maps ...

      Though they'll probably just use it to play angry birds while the autopilot does all the real work ... guess it's marginally better than them having a snooze as they normally would.
  • So Samsung Is Getting More Sales Out Of This Than Apple?

    Cook and Co must be smiling through gritted teeth...
    • More units but ...

      ... probably much less money.

      But I think Apple is happy that their tablets are up in the cockpit doing real, mission-critical work while the Galaxies are entertaining the passengers.

      Not saying which is the toy, though.
      • Re: More units but ...

        Which one will the passengers remember?