Delta to Use Phablets for In-Flight Customer Service
Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) this fall will equip more than 20,000 flight attendants with handheld Nokia Lumia 1520 phablets.
They 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.
Phablet term is the combination of the words phone and tablet. It is a mobile device that delivers the functions of a smartphone and tablet.
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.
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“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,” said Joanne Smith, senior vice president – In-Flight Service.
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.
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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.
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 said to be 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.