American Airlines to use Electronic tablets for Flight Attendants

Flight attendants on American Airlines started using tablet computers to replace traditional heavy paper manuals exclusively on September 1. On Wednesday, the Airlines announced that it will become the first major airline to provide these electronic manuals to its flight attendants.

American Airlines won regulatory approval to swap flight attendants' paper manuals for electronic tablets after the cockpits went completely paperless by June 2013.

According to the airlines, now they will no longer rely on printing and shipping updates for flight attendant manuals. The paper version of a flight attendant manual weighs nearly five pounds. The Samsung tablet that replaces the paper manual weighs 1.2 pounds.

Changing to the lighter tablet will save American close to $650,000 a year in fuel costs, based on current prices. The lower fuel burn will reduce American's carbon dioxide emissions each year by about 2,100 metric tons or 4.6 million pounds.

It has cost American $300,000 a year to print and ship updates to the paper manuals. The tablets will also contain other information to help flight attendant do their job, such as providing information about connecting gates, premium passengers on the flight and so forth. The tablet also allows for real-time updates to flight attendants about premium customers, special meals, connection gates, special services and other information.

Right now, the electronic manuals are only in place on American Airlines. Flight attendants at merger partner US Airways will switch after the Federal Aviation Administration approves a single operating certificate covering both American and US Airways. Pilots will be using iPads as those are the devices the FAA certified for cockpit use.

Hector Adler, vice-president of flight service for American, said, "The tablet allow us to reduce our dependency on paper products and to share important safety information with our flight attendants more quickly".