By Cailey Rizzo
July 20, 2020
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American Airlines debuted new contactless technology to help passengers check in and drop off their luggage hands-free while traveling in the wake of coronavirus.

Starting Monday, passengers will be able to drop off their bags without having to make physical contact with screens or airline employees.

Customers checking bags for domestic or international flights can check in online through the airline's app ahead of time and indicate how many bags they plan on checking. When they get to the airport, passengers scan their boarding pass at the check-in kiosk, which will then automatically print bag tags. The customer can attach the tags, drop off their bags, and proceed to security without having to touch a screen.

The technology will be available at more than 230 airports across the country.

The airline also announced a new inflight Wi-Fi portal where passengers can access their AAdvantage and credit card information, purchase Wi-Fi for their flight or view inflight entertainment. The rollout of aainflight.com is part of the airline’s larger strategy to make inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi more easily accessible.

Credit: American Airlines

The airline’s response to COVID-19 has included cutting back on food and beverage service in the cabin, requiring passengers to self-certify that they are free from symptoms and strictly enforcing face mask rules. Any passenger who refuses to wear a mask while onboard may be removed from their flight.

The airline stopped blocking off the middle seat on July 1 and is now selling its flights to full capacity. American had limited its cabins to only 85 percent full in April. Passengers are allowed to move to a different seat in their ticketed cabin, if available.

American is slowly ramping up operations after cutting about 80 percent of its domestic travel earlier this year. This month, the airline plans to operate about 4,000 flights per day, which could increase over the summer.

“We don't know what August and beyond looks like right now — so much of the recovery we see is tenuous and there's a lot of things that could slow it down,” Vasu Raja, American’s senior vice president of network strategy, told Travel + Leisure last month.