Here’s a fantastic development. As of today, American Airlines’ app will notify you when boarding for your flight starts. A message will pop up saying:
“We have started to board your flight to [destination]. Please head to gate [number].”
Now boarding: you
Starting today, you’ll receive boarding notifications from the app when traveling! pic.twitter.com/BMXqi8qELw
— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) October 16, 2019
It’s my understanding that the push notification is tied to when the first boarding pass is scanned, so if there’s a delay in boarding time then you should know as a result of this new feature.
American Airlines has been testing this functionality since April, though for whatever reason it took them nearly six months to implement it systemwide. This is an area where American has lagged both Delta and United, as both airlines have offered this functionality for a long time now.
So, why does this matter? If you’re in a situation where you have a rolling delay (either due to maintenance, crew, or weather), it can be risky to wait in a lounge or leave the gate area, since boarding could start at any moment.
It’s one thing if American did a good job of keeping people updated during delays, but they don’t — instead they always only delay a flight by a few minutes, and often only do so after the scheduled departure time. Since gate monitors aren’t always updated correctly, I’m always on edge when I leave the American Airlines gate area during a delay.
With this new functionality you’ll know as soon as boarding starts, which would put me at ease if leaving the gate area during a delay.
I’ve written in the past about just how frustrating it can be not to get push notifications in these kinds of situations, especially given that American is awful about posting delays in advance.
This is also useful in those instances where a gate agent decides to start the boarding process early, so that you can know it makes sense to head to the gate (to make sure there’s room in the overhead bin for your bag).
This is a development I’m really excited about…