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Airlines are targeting in-flight sales as the next big revenue driver, but first better tech is needed to tailor product offerings to certain passengers and increase the likelihood of purchase.
Delta Air Lines is set to save $1 million a year by replacing 5-pound On-Board Manuals with handheld Nokia Lumia 1520 phablets.
Not only will the new devices reduce fuel and printing costs, they’ll also allow flight attendants to take meal orders and tailor in-flight offerings to passengers based on their frequent flyer status and past purchases.
The new 6-inch Lumia 1520 phablets, which will replace the crew’s current Lumia 820 devices, will be distributed to more than 20,000 flight attendants between October and December of this year.
Personalization is driving the desire for larger, more advanced tablets. Airlines hope to increase on-board sales by catering product offerings to particular passengers.
“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, said in a statement.
The tablets are part of Delta’s larger investment in Microsoft — last year the airline purchased 11,000 Microsoft Surface 2 tablets.
Other airlines including Allegiant, American and Ryanair are using Apple for pilots and flight attendants.