American Airlines is getting on board with the cashless model and eliminating cash transactions completely. This means that if you have to pay for any additional luggage you're carrying for check-in or hand baggage, or you have to pay for an unaccompanied minor, the payment will have to be compensated via debit or credit cards. The new move will be effective at Miami International Airport from Thursday.
So if you're carrying cash to pay for expenses, we suggest you keep other options open.
The airline has changed payment modules at some of the biggest airports in the country, namely LaGuardia Airport, New York’s John K. Kennedy International Airport, Fort Worth International Airport at Dallas, Texas and the Los Angeles International Airport, according to a statement by Alexis Aran Coello, spokeswoman for American Airlines. Including the airports mentioned above, the airline company has altered payment methods at 50 different locations.
She also said that cash transactions slow down the check-in procedure and thus this transition is a welcome move to facilitate faster boarding.
“Moving away from cash allows American to assist customers more efficiently. 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,” Aran Coello said in a statement. “In general, our ticket counter agents support the transition to a cashless environment.”
If you only believe in making payments with hard cash, there is no reason to fret as American Airlines has made arrangements for that as well. The juggernaut airline has partnered with Ready Credit, a firm that converts cash into debit cards. Ready Credit has set up 11 kiosks at the Miami International Airport to facilitate American Airlines passengers.
These kiosks can convert cash to prepaid cards for a value up to $1000 per passenger. Ready Credit has stationed a number of agents to assist passengers with the transition and new procedures. The 'Ready Stations' as they are called, can converse in English and Spanish.
Ready Credit will charge a transactional fee of $5 for any recharge to a prepaid card. Foreign travelers who bring cash for commerce to the United States might have to spend extra due to the foreign transaction fees which are applied on credit cards issued in their original countries.
Majorly, foreign travelers use credit cards issued by Visa, which adds only 1.5 % foreign transaction fee to Ready Credit prepaid cards when used outside the USA. Wallethub says that this fee as charged by Visa is lesser than what most card companies collect on foreign transactions.
Aran Coello is optimistic about foreign transactions on Ready Credit cards: “We are mindful of the impact this may have on travelers from international destinations,” she said. “However, we have noticed that many travelers 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.”
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