Delta Air Lines is switching nearly 30,000 flight crew members from Microsoft’s Nokia Lumia 1520 devices to iPhones and iPads, according to a leaked internal email.
Flight attendants will see their Nokia handsets replaced with iPhone 7 Plus in early 2018.
Flight attendants will use the Guest Service Tool running on their Apple smartphone as an onboard customer service tool and an in-flight point of sale system. The same tool can be used to provide customers with the status of down-line flights and connecting gate information.
Pilots are set to have their Microsoft Surface tablets exchanged for the 10.5-inch iPad Pros.
The Apple tablet, acting as an electronic flight bag, will support Delta’s apps for pilots like Jeppesen Flight Deck Pro for flight planning, a dedicated turbulence app and more.
Plus, the tablets will hold a content library containing detailed aircraft and procedural manuals.
In case you didn’t know this—flight documentation can weigh as much as 40 pounds. This change will bring Delta in line with its Joint Venture partners at Aeromexico, Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic, as per the leaked message.
The email mentions that the upcoming switch will affect more than 23,000 flight attendants and 14,000 pilots, all of whom are set to receive Apple hardware.
A Delta pilot told AppleInsider that flight crews “fought hard for iPad,” suggesting the Microsoft deal was about money and Delta’s IT staff historically being “in bed” with Microsoft.
Delta and Microsoft announced a deal to armed flight crews with Microsoft hardware four years ago. But as Microsoft recently stopped developing new Windows Phone features or devices, Delta has now reversed course.
This is a particular blow for Microsoft’s efforts to make its Surface lineup of devices a user-friendly competitor to the iPhone, iPad and MacBook hardware. Just last week, Microsoft unveiled a new Surface Book 2 notebook/tablet hybrid, scheduled to arrive in mid-November.
Many US and international airlines have adopted iOS as their preferred platform.