The American Airlines mobile app is shockingly lacking in functionality. The app itself cannot sell you a ticket. It won’t let you book an award ticket. You can’t use it to change your itinerary.
The only thing I use it for today is boarding passes. And even there I find it often will run into problems mid-trip, fortunately it saves original copies of your boarding passes so when it can’t pull one up fresh you’ve got the archived copy (it didn’t used to do that!).
However American is planning functionality updates to its app this summer.
They’re going to add proactive baggage delay notifications, and let you set up claims for lost baggage using the app. Saving time at baggage claim, or for that matter not having to go to baggage claim to track someone down, seems like a win for customers at the same time it reduces staffing costs for the airline.
And they’re going to add a re-accommodation tool for when your flights are cancelled. Currently the app will show you the current state of your itinerary. So if you’ve been rebooked automatically you’ll know what flights American put you on. But this will give you options to change to alternate flights if you prefer.
I often find that I create routings for myself that an automated system won’t suggest. Or I’ll find availability (which, during a systemwide meltdown, changes constantly) that the airline doesn’t come up with. So I’ll probably still deal with telephone agents or agents in the club. But for the median travel this is going to be a step forward interacting with the airline, especially when telephone hold times are exceptionally long.
Update: American elaborates on their baggage functionality, “if you are checked in and have bags checked, and the flight cancels. Once you choose a new flight, we will also send a baggage reroute automatically too.”