If you’re planning on flying American Airlines out of Miami International Airport, don’t forget your debit card.
Starting Thursday, the mega-airliner has announced it is moving to a cashless model at the Florida airport and will no longer be accepting anything other than credit or debit cards for desk transactions such as checked bags or overweight bag fees.
American Airlines spokeswoman Alexis Aran Coello told the Miami Herald the new system will help speed up the check-in process.
“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.”
For those traveling with cash, the airliner is partnering with Ready Credit, a company that will convert cash into debit cards.
Near American’s check-in area will be ReadyStation kiosks that will churn out prepaid Visa debit cards, up to $1,000. The station, with English and Spanish capabilities, will charge a $5 transaction fee.
The new rules are expected to impact foreign travelers more than domestic.
“We are mindful of the impact this may have on travelers from international destinations,” Aran Coello 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.”
The airline has gone cashless in 50 other locations, Aran Coello told the Miami Herald. Among them are New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, California’s Los Angeles International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas.
United Airlines, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines have all already introduced ReadyStations as part of their cashless transition.