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Airline tests mobile bag check-in

By Katie Johnston Chase
Globe Staff / July 24, 2009

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If you’re in need of assistance from an American Airlines agent at Logan Airport in the next six weeks, you won’t necessarily have to stand in line at the counter to get it. Starting Monday, the airline plans to test 20 mobile devices that allow employees to check bags and provide gate information, flight times, and boarding status from anywhere in the building.

Eventually, the devices - named Your Assistance Delivered Anywhere, or YADA - will be able to print boarding passes and make seating upgrades. “The beauty of this device is that it allows our agents to be more mobile and to approach customers,’’ said Jim Moses, managing director for American Airlines’ facilities at Logan.

Another hope is that it will alleviate lines, he said, although the number of agents isn’t increasing. The trial run is happening here because people in Boston are early adopters of new technology, Moses said. After the six-week test, the airline will decide whether to roll out the mobile devices systemwide.