Delta allegedly switching flight crew hardware from Surface to iPad in early 2018

Posted:
in iPad
Airline Delta is allegedly in the process of switching its staff from Windows-based devices to iOS, with flight attendants set to replace Nokia handsets with the iPhone 7 Plus in early 2018, while pilots will apparently see their Microsoft Surface tablets exchanged for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.




An email alleged to have been sent to Delta employees on October 18 advises of upcoming changes to devices provided to its flight crews. Received by MacOSKen, the email mentions the change will allegedly affect "more than 23,000 flight attendants and 14,000 pilots," with all receiving Apple hardware "as the airline transitions to its next generation of flight crew devices."

It is said the iPhone 7 Plus will replace existing Nokia Lumia 1520 phablets, which are used by attendants as an onboard customer service tool and an in-flight point of sale system. The change apparently brings Delta "in line with its Joint Venture partners at Aeromexico, Air France, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic."

"The new iOS device will continue to feature the Guest Service Tool which allows flight attendants to provide more personalized service and recognize high-value customers on each flight," the email states. "Flight attendants can also provide customers with the status of down-line flights and connecting gate information."

Pilots will apparently be provided an iPad Pro to replace their Surface tablets, used as an electronic flight bag. The iPad Pro will be loaded with Delta's suite of tools for pilots, "including the Jeppesen Flight Deck Pro for flight planning, the latest version of Delta's turbulence app - Flight Weather View Plus, and a content library containing detailed aircraft and procedural manuals."

Delta is said to "join many other airlines, including key global partners, in leveraging the iOS platform to provide a high degree of synergy and cooperation in the continued development and enhancement of aviation applications."

Despite supposedly moving away from Microsoft's hardware, Delta will apparently continue to "maintain a strong an positive partnership" with the company, noting that some of the customer service-oriented apps are "powered by Microsoft Dynamics."

The email advises "Delta will begin jointly rolling out the iPads to pilots and iPhones to flight attendants early next year."

While the email is credited to "Staff Writer" and there is no issued PR relating to the change thus far, it is worth noting MacOSKen received two messages from two individuals about the hardware update. While one provided the email in its entirety, the other message from a different individual provided a brief summary of the changes.

AppleInsider has also confirmed the story with a source within Delta not authorized to speak for the company.

Delta started testing the use of electronic flight bags on domestic flights in 2011, before committing to the scheme in 2013 by rolling out the Microsoft Surface 2 to pilots. At around the same time, Delta had closed a deal to equip its flight attendants with the Nokia Lumia 820 smartphone for customer service tasks.

The use of a tablet as an electronic flight bag is intended to be a space and cost-saving measure, replacing the paper manuals and other required flight documentation that can weigh as much as 40 pounds. The iPad was approved for such use by the Federal Aviation Authority in 2011, and was also in use by American Airlines and Alaska Airlines shortly after approval was granted.

At the time of the full rollout, a pilot working for Delta claimed to AppleInsider that flight crews "fought hard for iPad," suggesting the deal with Microsoft was about money, travel contracts, and Delta's Information Technology staff historically being "in bed" with Microsoft.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    Delta Express (Skywest) started using iPads a few years ago... my brother was very happy.
    RacerhomieXcornchipwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 30
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    In other news Delta employees were spotted dancing but no one knows why. 

    The tides are turning in enterprise....
    anton zuykovbrucemcmagman1979RacerhomieXMacProjbdragonlolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 30
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,036member
    Delta is going to save even more fuel by switching to Apple products. iPad Pro Wifi 10.5" is 469 grams, iPhone 7+ is 188 grams, Surface 2 is 676 grams, and Nokia Lumia 1520 is 209 grams. That doesn't count the external mouse and keyboard that seem to always accompany the Surface.
    calianton zuykovtokyojimuradarthekatmagman1979RacerhomieXcornchiplolliverjony0
  • Reply 4 of 30
    linkman said:
    Delta is going to save even more fuel by switching to Apple products. iPad Pro Wifi 10.5" is 469 grams, iPhone 7+ is 188 grams, Surface 2 is 676 grams, and Nokia Lumia 1520 is 209 grams. That doesn't count the external mouse and keyboard that seem to always accompany the Surface.
    Don't forget about power consumption too.
    magman1979RacerhomieXlolliver
  • Reply 5 of 30
    oh noes.
    I guess, pilots do not do any "real" work on those surfaces! /s

    lkruppradarthekatbrucemccornchipjbdragonlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 30
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,099member
    Apple should really be taking advantage of this kind of press and put out some ads on how iOS is being used in industries such as airlines.  I know Apple doesn't go below the belt like Samsung and Microsoft, but it would be funny if Apple would insert clips of the NFL coaches trashing their Surface tablets and Samsung Notes catching on fire.  It would be funny to see them attempting to defend themselves in public.

    This is great news.  A friend of mine is a commercial pilot and also freelances as a contract pilot for private jets.  I was amazed to see some of the planes he flies have iPads installed as part of the glass cockpit.  It took me a minute to realize they were iPads.  They are really becoming the standard for aviation.

    Hell will freeze over before any pilot will depend on a Surface Pro for their aviation needs.
    magman1979RacerhomieXcornchipjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 30
    Didn't Delta replace paper flight manuals with iPads years ago before switching to a different tablet?
  • Reply 8 of 30
    There are advantages either way, but in ease of use (for the end users) Apple is dominating.  The fact that Microsoft is basically abandoning is Microsoft Phone platform, made the situation even easier for the Airlines.

    Microsoft isn’t necessarily a looser though.  They are doing a much better job in getting productivity software on Apple IOS and Android.  That often ties into other Microsoft services hosted on Azure.  Businesses still want Microsoft products, they are very strong in servers, and helping managing things in the enterprise.  Dynamics is reportedly and strong product in accounting and manufacturing.  Exchange Server has become bloated, but it works very well for Mid-sized companies, and larger.  And, for smaller companies hosting it in the cloud makes sense.

    I’m not a big fan of Windows 10, it’s a messy UI.  And, they move things around inexplicably.  But it’s still the best Enterprise OS.

    In other words, the Microsoft’s doing many good things.  But, Joe Consumer isn’t seeing it.  For example, Microsoft Office has never been as unstable as it is today, and probably needs a complete rewrite.  That’s going to be almost impossible for so many reasons I’m not going to get into.

    Sorry about going off on a tangent...

    Apple IOS (IPhone/IPad) is fantastic, my biggest concern is what they’re doing in hardware.  Apple has always been about premium hardware, the problem is they’re moving into SUPER premium.  A $1000 phone is crazy, and the laptops are almost as bad.  The problem is Apple products are becoming a poor value.

    I think we’re already starting to see that in China where sales are declining.  I’m willing to pay a 25% premium for a superior product, but Android is starting to work through through their greatest flaws, like security, usability, and timely updates.  My next tablet upgrade is 2-3 years away, and there is a very good chance it will run Android.

  • Reply 9 of 30
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,541member
    I can see the appeal of the Surface line for those that *really* want the 2-in-1 capabilities, for whatever reasons.  But if the job doesn't require the attachment of a keyboard and mouse, or is just designed better for touch, then the iPad is simply the better tool - full stop.  The Surface is without a doubt not as good of a tablet.  And Apple has the track record for quality, longevity, and updates for longer average service life of the device.

    Good news for Apple on the enterprise front these days for sure.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 30
    In other enterprise news ... The NYPD is going to be dumping Windows phones for Iphones for all active officers possibly by years end
    magman1979cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 30
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,167member
    My local Toyota dealer used surface for a while then switched to iPads as well.
    magman1979cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 30
    This was mentioned on an the Airline Pilot Guy podcast a few months ago. They seem to think the reason was that most of the pilots already had an iPad at home were comfortable with the UI and this significantly effects training cost and usability. Reminds me of why people still use Windows on the desktop, although it's a horrible UI, IMHO. I just wonder if it's not about MS abandoning mobile platforms every chance they get.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,830member
    So someone explain to me how great Microsoft Surface Tablets are again? Please...I'd love to hear it! 
    magman1979cornchiplolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 30
    It does not matter how good the surface is ( or is not). Since Windows Phone has been abandoned, Delta are not going to equip their staff with IPhones for one task, and Surface for the other. They have to go all in with iOS. Oh how the worm has turned for Microsoft where 'standardizing on a single OS' works for Apple...
    firelockcornchipcaliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 30
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,597member
    The original decision to go with the Surface was almost certainly driven by the IT department. It’s all about job security for their requisite increased support, training, and the usual false claim that MS is a better solution because that’s what they know, and only they have the secret sauce to keep it all working together. When factoring in support, training, hardware and software reliability, and resale value, price rolls to Apple’s favor.
    cornchiplolliverGG1watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 30
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,745member
    freerange said:
    The original decision to go with the Surface was almost certainly driven by the IT department. It’s all about job security for their requisite increased support, training, and the usual false claim that MS is a better solution because that’s what they know, and only they have the secret sauce to keep it all working together. When factoring in support, training, hardware and software reliability, and resale value, price rolls to Apple’s favor.
    Exactly, and therein you've encapsulated the entire history of Microsoft existence in Enterprise.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 30
    Jman26063 said:
    In other enterprise news ... The NYPD is going to be dumping Windows phones for Iphones for all active officers possibly by years end
    It's amazing Jessica Tisch is still the NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Information Technology after that debacle. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 30
    MorkMork Posts: 22member
    And the Airline I fly for is replacing IPads with Surface Pros.
    The critical information, they say, needs constant compatibility checks every time iOS gets even a minor update, still on IOS 10 because of that, we unfortunately do weight and balance, passenger boarding and other ‘ancillary’ things as well as Jepps and integrated MMEL, not sure which direction this ‘step’ is......
  • Reply 19 of 30
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,830member
    Mork said:
    And the Airline I fly for is replacing IPads with Surface Pros.
    The critical information, they say, needs constant compatibility checks every time iOS gets even a minor update, still on IOS 10 because of that, we unfortunately do weight and balance, passenger boarding and other ‘ancillary’ things as well as Jepps and integrated MMEL, not sure which direction this ‘step’ is......
    So they're switching to a platform that needs constant security updates instead...makes perfect sense!
    calilolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 30
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Mork said:
    And the Airline I fly for is replacing IPads with Surface Pros.
    The critical information, they say, needs constant compatibility checks every time iOS gets even a minor update, still on IOS 10 because of that, we unfortunately do weight and balance, passenger boarding and other ‘ancillary’ things as well as Jepps and integrated MMEL, not sure which direction this ‘step’ is......


    The comment about "constant compatibility checks every tiem IOS gets a minor update" is pure utter bullshit and I've used every API on just every platform known to man, from mainframes IBM/CISC, VAX/VMS in the early 1980s  to IOS/Android/Windows and all modern Unix variants in the last 35 years.

    Considering how ridiculously lightweight, and removed from hardware, those apps/functions would be for Ipad, makes the whole argument absurd unless litteral idiots programmed those systems (which may be the case for all I know...).

    Seems like someone wanted to switch and pulled something out of their ass to justify it.





    edited October 2017 cornchipcalilolliverwatto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.