In an attempt to save money and be more environmentally friendly, Delta is providing its pilots with 11,000 next-generation flight bags that will each include a new Surface 2 tablet. The Windows RT 8.1 slate will “provide flight crews real-time access to essential tools and the most up-to-date flight-related resources.” It should also save the airline over $13 million per year in the process thanks to reductions in fuel costs and other related expenses. The previous electronic flight bags weighed in at around 38 pounds, and considering the amount of flights Delta makes in a year, every pound counts, so the reduced weight should at least marginally cut down on fuel costs. Delta is currently seeking approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to use the tablets “during all phases of flight,” which might also be a good sign for the possible upcoming changes to in-flight electronics use rules.
Today, Google announced that for the second year in a row it will be offering up free internet connectivity to holiday travelers. Last year during the holiday travel season, the company provided free Wi-Fi in airport terminals. This year, the search giant is taking the free Wi-Fi to the sky. Google has announced that Google Chrome will sponsor free, Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi service on domestic AirTran, Delta, and Virgin America flights from November 20, 2010 to January 2, 2011. “Just bring a Wi-Fi enabled laptop or mobile device and stay connected to family and friends while you travel,” writes Google. There you have it, free airborne 802.11… courtesy of Google Chrome. More →
Welcome to the future that should have been here years ago. Why airlines haven’t been doing this for years is beyond us but kudos to those who have finally started to get moving. Delta is by no means the first airline to play with the idea of mobiles to be used as boarding passes, but it has caught on. Starting with domestic flights at LaGuardia, Delta’s handset boarding pass trial is already launched and we can only hope that the practice spreads sooner rather than later. Delta passengers can now go to the company’s website on their mobile devices and download a digital boarding pass directly. The TSA can then scan the digital bar codes contained within the passes and no physical printout is required. The concept is forward-thinking in several respects. First of all, it makes travel easier; there is no longer a need need to print anything out and no more frantic searching through carry ons to find misplaced documentation. Secondly, it’s good for the environment of course. Digital passes mean less paper being printed and wasted. Honestly, who recycles their boarding passes? Good stuff Delta, now if we can only work on those delays…