Mobile reCell conducts its largest electronic flight bag (EFB) refresh with American Airlines in a record-breaking 90 days.

American Airlines’ Third Recovery Project With Mobile reCell

American Airlines provides its pilots with electronic flight bag (EFB) devices in the form of Apple iPads equipped with navigational charts, flight planning, operations manuals, aircraft checklists, and additional resources.

As these mobile devices reach the end of their lifecycle, the airline issues new EFB devices, unintentionally leaving the retiring devices assigned to pilots scattered across the country and equipped with valuable corporate data.

As a result, Mobile reCell conducted its third EFB iPad refresh with American Airlines—and it was completed in a record-breaking 90 days.

The Problem

Despite having an established IT asset recovery program in place with Mobile reCell, American Airlines experienced challenges with receiving accurate device data from other vendors and service providers.

Amid the device refresh, the airline was changing managed mobility services (MMS) providers, which resulted in inconsistent data coming from multiple sources.

Provided in a wide variety of formats, the data was missing accurate device assignments, which made it challenging to decipher who would be returning each specific device.

As a result, American Airlines turned to Mobile reCell to alleviate the data issue.

The Solution

Mobile reCell worked with the value-added reseller (VAR) deploying American Airlines’ new EFB devices to coordinate data migration, normalize source data, and solve the data issue.

Once the airline’s data was unified, Mobile reCell launched its recovery efforts using a shared entry point for Reco, the device end user experience for Mobile reCell’s Recovery Platform, including step-by-step guidance on how to properly return their corporate-owned devices.

The shared entry point for Reco—for this project, a custom webpage—deploys rigorous validation efforts to ensure only authorized personnel—including sub-branches and regional branches of American Airlines—can access Reco, and it verifies the correct devices are being returned.

Once Reco is accessed, pilots have the option to purchase their retiring device, or they can return their device to be resold into a secondary market. Regardless of the pilot’s purchase decision, American Airlines opted to have all devices go through physical data sanitization at a processing facility, and they received a certificate of data destruction for each recovered device.

As devices are returned by the pilots, the airline’s recovery program managers are able to view shipment tracking information. Additionally, the program managers can quickly identify which end users have failed to return their retiring devices. With this information, the manager can remotely lock the unreturned devices, rendering them useless until returned to the company.

Sucess Despite Challenges

With the help of Mobile reCell, American Airlines can ensure a secure disposition for all of its EFB devices.

With a few devices still to be returned, the airline has achieved an IT asset recovery rate of 99 percent—recovering more than 22,000 deployed EFB iPads in 90 days—for this EFB refresh project.

“Mobile reCell’s team was attentive, resourceful, and extremely well-versed in the recovery project, as they worked with us on all the project’s moving pieces. Although this refresh was a huge undertaking, it has been a resounding success thanks to Mobile reCell—a true partner when it comes to IT asset recovery.”

– Traci Smith, Senior Project Manager at American Airlines

American Airlines has been a Mobile reCell customer since 2020, recovering more than 82,000 devices from pilots and flight attendants and returning millions of dollars the company can put towards its IT budget.

Mobile reCell strives to ensure a seamless recovery experience for both IT managers and device end users. Our software-driven solution provides full visibility into the recovery process, more accurate recovery program data, and more.

Learn how you can benefit from working with Mobile reCell.

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Device Recovery Stats

  • Apple iPad Air 3
  • 22,445 iPads recovered 
  • $3.45 million in recovered value
  • 35.5 days from employee purchase to receiving processed device
  • 99% IT asset recovery rate

Key Program Details

  • Recovery project completed in 90 days
  • 7,914 retired iPads purchased by employees
  • ~54 seconds to unlock iPads, on average
  • 2,522,918 kWh total energy saved
  • $423,850 cost savings for energy use
  • Device returns fueled by Reco