American Airlines is the first to testing Google Assistant for customer service

It’s been just exactly a year since Google introduced Google Assistant interpreter mode. The service allows you say something in one language and have it translated in another. That was at CES 2019. The applications of that technology were quite apparent, which is to be used for communication between people speaking different languages. American Airlines is doing just that. Today at CES 2020, the airline giant announced it is currently testing interpreter mode in airport lounges to help American Airlines employees better communicate with travelers who speak a different language.

According to American Airlines, its Premium Customer Service representatives will be able to use interpreter mode on Google Nest Hubs. However, the airline will only use interpreter mode when a multilingual employee isn’t available.

In addition, interpreter mode only works with 29 languages right now. Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese are among the more than two dozen languages that the device can translate. A conversation between two fluent humans will probably still be the most efficient way to have a conversation. But interpreter mode could work in a pinch.

“The science fiction universal translator is now science fact,” said Maya Leibman, American’s Chief Information Officer. “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.”

American Airlines says it rolled out interpreter mode last week in its three Admirals Club lounges at LAX. It’s not clear if or when the technology will be available at other American Airlines lounges.

American Airlines offers customers 6,800 daily flights to more than 365 destinations in 61 countries from its hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. American’s 130,000 global team members serve more than 200 million multilingual customers annually, reason for the implementation of this technology
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, etc.
If you want to test interpreter mode yourself, the feature rolled out to Google Home devices in February 2019 and began rolling out to the iOS and Android Google Assistant smartphone apps in December.