Drunk American Airlines Baggage Handler Fell Asleep in the Cargo Hold, Flew to Chicago

A drunk baggage handler fell asleep inside the cargo hold of an American Airlines Boeing 737 — and wound up flying on board American’s flight AA363, the 6 a.m. departure from Kansas City to Chicago O’Hare on Saturday.

He “wasn’t discovered until the plane landed at O’Hare International Airport and parked at the gate just before 7:30 a.m. local time.”

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Walmart Rolls Out On-The-Spot ‘Check Out With Me’ Feature, In-App Store Maps

Walmart Rolls Out On-The-Spot ‘Check Out With Me’ Feature, In-App Store Maps

Coinciding with the launch of its store technology testing ground, the Sam’s Club Now store in Dallas, Walmart is rolling out its latest innovative investment, a “check out with me” option at all U.S. stores. Starting at some locations as soon as Nov. 1, Walmart will give associates mobile devices that can scan bulky items such as flat-screen TVs and heavy furniture, enabling customers to immediately pay with a credit card and bypass checkout lines.

Walmart has tested the functionality since April in the lawn and garden centers of more than 350 stores. The devices are not intended to check out whole baskets of items, but they will be capable of processing everything from groceries to apparel.

The retail giant has experimented with expedited checkout before, but not always with the best results. In May, Walmart dropped its “Scan & Go” cashierless checkout pilot due to low customer participation. The app allowed customers to scan and bag items, including produce, while they shopped and to pay directly with their phones. Customers saw the price of individual items as they scanned them, along with a running total, enabling them to gauge their total costs ahead of checkout.

“Long checkout lines are the dreaded pain point of a customer’s shopping experience especially as they approach the holiday sales season,” said Gavin Bisdee, VP of Global Marketing at Zynstra in commentary provided to Retail TouchPoints. “Transaction performance can be so slow, resulting in frustrated customers, abandoned carts, and low revenues. As the holiday season approaches, the winners will be forward-thinking retailers that implement a more flexible solution to raise the level of their customer experience offering, such as mobile tablets or kiosks, for faster transaction speed and shorter wait times, enabling a digital transformation of the customer and employee experience.”

Walmart also has added a new Store Maps feature within its mobile app, designed to help shoppers find items faster this holiday season. The app features a store map uniquely created for each Walmart store. Shoppers can open the app to search for an item, and the map will show the item’s exact location.

The store maps feature recently launched in most Walmart stores and will be available in all stores in early November.

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CVS Pilots Enhanced Membership Program Offering Free Delivery

CVS Pilots Enhanced Membership Program Offering Free Delivery

Customers at more than 350 CVS stores in the greater Boston area can now get free one- to two-day delivery on most medications and purchases, access to a 24/7 pharmacist helpline and 20% discounts on private label CVS Health products via the retailer’s new CarePass rewards program. This enhancement to the retailer’s ExtraCare Rewards loyalty program costs $5 per month or $48 per year. CarePass members also receive a monthly $10 CarePass promotional reward that can be used both in stores and online.

By bundling prescription drugs with other products sold in its stores, the new CVS program takes aim at Amazon, which acquired mail-order pharmacy provider PillPack in June 2018. This purchase gave the e-Commerce giant a toehold into the lucrative health care and prescription drug markets, raising fears among drugstore retailers that Amazon would encroach further into their turf.

The retailer has taken steps to tie itself more closely with health care, acquiring insurer Aetna for $69 billion in December 2017. The combination of CVS’ large store footprint with the data available from a major health insurer should provide a strong competitive edge.

CVS plans to expand the CarePass program in coming months, evolving it based on learnings from the market pilot test, according to a company statement.

“We want this to expand nationwide,” Kevin Hourican, EVP of CVS Health and President, CVS Pharmacy told CNBC. “But we also want to make sure we are ready and prepared and that when we do roll it out nationwide, the program is one that customers can have a great experience with.”

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$1 Gas Earns 1000 Miles for United Visa Cardmembers

United launched a partnership in March with gas station chain BP that lets you earn and redeem miles for gas. You can earn 1-3 United miles per dollar spent on gas.

The initial partnership launched with a 200 mile signup bonus after first purchase using a linked credit card. That offer has quintupled to 1000 miles for UnitedSM Explorer Card customers.

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