Plastic only on American flights

From Bloomberg News

American Airlines, the world’s largest carrier, will accept only credit and debit card payment for food, drinks and other items in a test this month on some flights.

The trial will make onboard sales more efficient for flight attendants and help the carrier determine whether passengers prefer credit over cash when buying on board, the Fort Worth-based airline said Thursday.

The program extends an initiative begun in May, when the carrier began accepting credit and debit cards for in-flight purchases.

American, a unit of AMR Corp., is the first U.S. airline to use hand-held wireless devices to handle the payments globally.


The test covers 700 American flights leaving San Francisco from Monday to Sept. 30. American said it chose San Francisco because it’s a base for short-, medium- and long-haul flights.

AirTran Holdings Inc., Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc., Spirit Airlines Inc., Midwest Air Group Inc., ATA Airlines Inc., Virgin America Inc. and Hawaiian Airlines Inc. already accept only credit or debit cards for onboard purchases.