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.
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!