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Today Delta announced an upgrade to the smaller hand units the FAs have been using for a little while now to do things like charge you for a snack or drink (and can give you points too when things go wrong) to a larger “phablet”. New features like selling upgrades in the air and more will be on tap soon.
But the idea is to save on weight. How much? A bunch when you add them all up. Delta says:
“Providing electronic access to the more than 500 page, five pound On-Board Manual carried by every flight attendant is expected to save more than $1 million annually in reduced fuel and printing costs while providing on board professionals a more intuitive way to access essential information.”
Just like the newer slim line seats that are so much lighter resulting in less fuel burn that any little bit they can save is money back to DAL shareholders. This is similar to the recent move to go digital soon in all the cockpits.
Not just weight savings but hopefully over time added features for pilots. However, some of the pilots I have spoken to are not all that impressed as the ones in the PR video. I think over time it will be a nice upgrade.
My only question, as I have touched on before, is why Sky magazine and SkyMall are still worth filling up seat backs. If you think about how much weight hundreds of these add to a jet, why not just go digital and offer free access via GoGo and promote that. I would still like, as they had for a month, free downloads; this way the FA can announce to download now before takeoff while the boarding door is open. – René