AT&T will distribute 19,000 Nokia Lumia Windows Phone devices to Delta flight attendants. The flight attendants will be able to use the devices when customers wish to purchase food, drinks and other in-flight services. The deployment is expected to help speed up the check-out process on board planes by as much as 10 percent. It’s unclear what model Lumia the flight attendants will receive.
The devices will run applications created by Avande, a firm that will help support the system over the next three years. It’s unclear how the system will specifically work – presumably the devices will be attached to some sort of credit card scanner, and will use the aircraft’s in-flight Wi-Fi systems to process the orders right away. We wish AT&T and Delta took it one step further by allowing customers to use their own mobile phones for the check-out process, such as a tap-and-go option that would use an NFC connection between two smartphones. Perhaps we’ll see something similar when AT&T finally activates its ISIS mobile payment system.
Delta is no stranger to providing an in-flight mobile experience. The airline was offering BlackBerry users free in-flight Wi-Fi inside of the United States back in April, though it’s unclear if that deal is still valid. Virgin America offers a seat-back check-out system that has proved super efficient, too, so we imagine this method was chosen as a cheaper alternative.