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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

American Airlines to Stop iPhone App For its Flight Attendants

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In order to prevent the creator of an iPhone app that has gained popularity among the airline’s flight attendants from obtaining crucial data required to keep the program functioning, American Airlines has developed advanced “bot detecting” software.

Because it provides the data needed by crew members to manage their rosters and work life in a single app, the “Sequence Decoder” app has become a must-have tool for American Airlines flight attendants.

Because it provides employees more control over their schedules and includes additional tools like a calculator to ensure crew is working within legal limitations, the app is especially well-liked by American Airlines’ numerous “reserve” flight attendants.

In addition to apparently rejecting Jeff Reisberg’s pleas for collaboration, American Airlines does not provide its own version of the app. The data required to power Jeff’s self-developed app is instead “scraped” from AA’s computer systems by bots.

In fact, American Airlines has stopped collaborating with Jeff and has started using bot detection tools to secure its websites, making it “almost impossible” to gather the information needed to run Sequence Decoder.

“We’ve tried to get them to talk to us, find a way to peacefully coexist but they have refused all communications. At the end of the day, I don’t think they understand why this service is important, and they don’t care to know,” Jeff told app users in a recent email.

“We’ve found holes in the net and managed to survive, but the net is always getting better,” Jeff warned. Last week the net got us good again, I thought it could be the end.”

One flight attendant said of the current situation affecting Sequence Decoder that they had “never seen a company go out of their way to make life harder for their workers.”

Another said on Reddit that the app had made obtaining information that flight attendants require “so much more efficient and easily accessible”.

“It’s like these companies go out of their way to be adversarial,” the flight attendant continued.

Third-party iPhone and Android apps for airline personnel have grown in popularity in recent years. The majority allow personnel to sync and monitor their rosters, while others have the authority to gather information from several internal computer systems and provide it in one location.

Airlines occasionally permit the existence of these applications because they recognize the value of what they do but lack the means or drive to develop their own. The access to third-party apps was swiftly restricted after another significant U.S. airline recently developed its own version of this type of software.

A comment from American Airlines has been requested.

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