Delta is making an interesting investment in technology…
Delta flight attendants getting 5G-equipped iPhone 12s
Delta has announced that it will upgrade the mobile devices that flight attendants have, from the existing SkyPro tablets. Starting in late summer, all Delta flight attendants will have an Apple iPhone 12 with AT&T 5G connectivity. While Delta isn’t the first airline to give flight attendants iPhones, the airline is promoting that it’s the first 5G-equipped global airline.
This is part of a new collaboration with Apple and AT&T, and is intended to make the jobs of flight attendants easier, and pave the way for more meaningful customer interactions.
As Delta’s SVP of Inflight Service, Allison Ausband, describes this development:
“Our flight attendants are the finest professionals taking to the skies day in and day out, so when we were looking for outstanding products that meet the Delta standard, Apple and AT&T were top of mind. This relationship is a step toward the future of a more connected and human onboard experience.”
As Delta views it, this is intended to deliver a seamless augmented reality experience to empower flight attendants with in-the-moment information to assist with:
- Training: with policies frequently shifting due to the pandemic, flight attendants will have increased access to immersive training, including videos, photos, and augmented reality
- Catering: while currently paper-based, flight attendants will have up to the minute digital catering inventory and will be able to quickly locate items without opening a single door, by using the iPhone camera and augmented reality to visualize where items are stowed
My take on Delta’s iPhone investment
I guess this is cool, though I do have a few initial thoughts:
- It’s great that the iPhones are 5G-equipped, but have you actually tried using data at airports? I feel like at many major airports you have speeds that make you long for the days of dial-up
- I’m curious if Delta plans to use the iPhones to take meal & drink orders, given the reference to it replacing a paper-based system? Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I haven’t had good experiences with airlines where orders are taken on iPhones, as they’re typically just looking down at their phone and trying to push a bunch of buttons
- Admittedly I’m pretty low tech, but am I the only one who feels like some of this stuff is unnecessarily high tech? Like, I don’t usually see flight attendants having too much trouble figuring out where service items are, so using an iPhone camera and augmented reality to figure out where cups or ice are seems a bit… extra
Again, that’s just my take as a fairly low tech guy, but I’d love to hear what you guys think.
By late summer, all Delta flight attendants will be given a 5G-equipped iPhone 12, thanks to a new collaboration with Apple and AT&T. I suppose this is a cool development, though I also question how necessary this really is, and if it will actually improve the passenger experience.
What’s your take on Delta’s iPhone investment?