American rolls out Google Assistant translating

by James Wilkinson

American Airlines is using technology to remove one of the stresses of traveling for foreign language-speaking customers by being the first airline to introduce the Google Assistant’s interpreter mode technology in its airport lounges.

American began testing the new technology last week at Admirals Club lounges at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

With the ability to translate in real-time, the Assistant’s interpreter mode will help Premium Customer Service representatives provide more personalized service to customers. Running on a Google Nest Hub, interpreter mode will be used to assist customers only when a multilingual team member is not available. The device can translate 29 languages, including Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.

“The science fiction universal translator is now science fact,” said American’s Chief Information Officer, Maya Leibman. “Incorporating technology like the Google Assistant’s interpreter mode will help us break down barriers, provide a worry-free travel experience and make travel more accessible to all.”

The Google Assistant is the latest in a long line of new technology enhancements American has introduced to make travel easier for customers. Other recent introductions include mobile passport scanning, boarding notifications, online virtual 3D aircraft tours, a redesigned self-service kiosk menu that simplifies the check-in process and an improved family seating approach, which ensures adults and kids under 14 are seated together. And with three Admirals Club lounges and the addition of Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining, American offers the most premium amenities of any carrier at LAX.

Google and American announced their partnership at this year’s CES, the world’s largest and leading consumer electronics show.