American Airlines is moving towards a cashless transaction experience in airports all over the US, as it removed cash payment options at Miami Airport this week, making the total number now 50 airports.
The airline says that moving away from cash assists its customers more efficiently, and adds, ‘It also reduces the complexity of work for our agents who will no longer have to worry about handling cash, find exact change or close out a cash drawer at the end of the day. In general, our ticket counter agents support the transition to a cashless environment.’
Beginning tomorrow at Miami International Airport, passengers will be advised to bring credit and debit cards only, although, having partnered with Ready Credit, American Airlines check-in desks will have ReadyStation kiosks nearby, providing prepaid Visa debit cards up to $1,000. There will be a $5 surcharge for this service.
American Airlines spokesperson, Aran Coello, has acknowledged that this new system may cause problems for foreign passengers, rather than native Americans, but also says, ‘we have noticed that many travellers who are returning to a country where [U.S. dollars] is not the accepted currency will often add more funds to their cards as it is a cost-effective method of converting [U.S. dollars] to other currencies.’
With successful operation of the scheme in 50 other locations in the US, including JFK International Airport, LaGuardia, LAX and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, American Airlines believe that the move to a cashless environment is the right step to take in the modern airport.
Most travellers already use debit and credit cards for expenses such as excess baggage, additional flight upgrades and other necessary fees, but it is accepted that some travellers, particularly those from foreign countries, will have exchanged currency into dollars in cash for use on their journey, but the prepaid Visa debit cards will often give a much better rate of exchange for passengers.