Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) this fall will equip more than 20,000 flight attendants with handheld Nokia Lumia 1520 phablets, which will serve as their on-board manual and in-flight sales device as well as a platform for future, more personalized in-flight customer service. The Lumia 1520 features a larger format, 6-inch screen and will replace the smaller Lumia 820 already in the hands of Delta on-board professionals.
"Delta continues to invest in the latest tools and resources for our flight attendants to provide exceptional service to our 165 million annual customers," said Joanne Smith, senior vice president – In-Flight Service. "These state-of-the-art devices represent yet another example of the many technology innovations we're developing, and will be essential as Delta continues to further personalize the on board experience."
Providing electronic access to the more than 500 page, five pound On-Board Manual carried by every flight attendant is expected to save more than $1 million annually in reduced fuel and printing costs while providing on board professionals a more intuitive way to access essential information.
In addition to its functionality as an in-flight sales device and replacement for the on-board manual, the Nokia Lumia 1520 phablet, running Windows Phone 8.1, will, as it develops, enable flight attendants to take customer meal orders, receive detailed information about their flight and provide information for personalized service, including customers' frequent flyer status and potential need for special services during flight.
"The phablet is a great foundation for future software applications that, in time, will allow our flight attendants to readily access customer preferences, previous travel experiences with Delta and worldwide connectivity to the company, enabling them to provide the more tailored experience many customers have come to expect," said Theresa Wise, senior vice president and chief information officer.
Devices will be distributed starting in October with all flight attendants receiving the device by the end of the year. The solution was developed jointly by Microsoft, Avanade, Nokia and AT&T and is the latest in a number of employee and customer-facing technology innovations Delta has made in recent years. Last September, Delta announced its pilots would receive Surface 2 tablets to be used initially as electronic flight bags and be developed into a multi-functional device that can be integrated across the airline operation.
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