Delta Air Lines will equip more than 20,000 flight attendants with Nokia Lumia 1520 phablets, which will replace the smaller Lumia 820 devices currently used for in-flight ancillary sales.
The phablet – a hybrid of a phone and a tablet – will essentially be used by the carrier as a portable in-flight sales device. Flight attendants will be able to use the device to take orders and payments for things like onboard meals, while they can also access flight information, details of individual passenger requests and frequent flyer status via the device, allowing them to offer a more personal level of service to customers. While all of these functions are available via the current Lumia 820 devices, the equipment upgrade creates new possibilities for additional functions to be added in the future.
The on-board manual, a document that has to be carried by every flight attendant, is also stored in digital format on the device, which runs Windows 8.1 and has a six-inch screen.
Theresa Wise, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Delta Air Lines, said: “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.”
The new Nokia Lumia 1520 devices will be distributed from October, with the aim of equipping all flight attendants with a phablet by the end of 2014.