Delta Airlines dumps Microsoft Surface, phones for Apple iPad and iPhone for flight crews

“It looks like iThings are – once again – the apple of Delta’s eye,” Mac OS Ken blogs. “I received two messages from two individuals on Thursday 19 October.”

“The second was more in-depth,” Mac OS Ken explains. “It seemed to be a copy of an email sent to Delta employees.”

Delta to transition to Apple devices for flight crews

Beginning early 2018, Delta will equip its more than 23,000 flight attendants and 14,000 pilots with Apple iPhones and Apple iPad Pros, respectively, as the airline transitions to its next generation of flight crew devices.

The iPhone 7 Plus will replace existing Nokia Lumia 1520 phablets, which flight attendants first began using in 2014, as an in-flight point of sale and onboard customer service tool… For Delta’s pilots, Apple’s iPad Pro will replace the Surface tablets that have been used in the flight deck as an electronic flight bag since 2014.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Smirk.

Welcome back to the land of the cognizant, Delta.

When we last covered Delta’s abject stupidity, we wrote:

If Delta is willing to go cheap on tablets for their flight crews, where else are they willing to go cheap?

If desperate Microsoft didn’t simply dump their flop into Delta cockpits for free, they probably paid Delta to take them. There is simply no other reason for Delta to consign their flight crews to years of having to try to use a failed product, a flop of epic proportions. All other competent airlines already use iPads for their EFBs. Even Delta did before this stupid, shortsighted about-face.

Delta management screwed the pooch with aplomb. Talk about a crash and burn! The idiot at Delta who signed off on this deal should be fired. Delta Airlines now just looks cheap and stupid.

Buh-bye, Delta. Unless you wise up, we will never, ever fly your crap outfit again. Hope your sellout was worth it.

Hello, NFL? You’re next!

Delta pilots fought hard against deal to replace iPad flight bags with Microsoft Surface – September 30, 2013
JetBlue latest airline to replace bulky paper manuals with Apple iPad-based Electronic Flight Bags – June 26, 2013
American Airlines first commercial carrier with FAA approval to use Apple iPads in all phases of flight – September 11, 2012
Delta Airlines launches Fly Delta app for iPad with ‘Glass Bottom Jet’ feature – January 11, 2013
Delta Air Lines begins rollout of 2,500 iPads for passenger use in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport – August 29, 2012
FAA approves iPads in the cockpit; American Airlines to start Friday – December 13, 2011
All Nippon Airways to deploy 6,000 Apple iPads to train stewards – September 22, 2011
Qantas trials Apple iPads as in-flight entertainment option – September 15, 2011
United Continental pilots get 11,000 Apple iPads – August 23, 2011
British Airways brings new dimension to customer service using Apple iPads – August 18, 2011
Delta gives Apple iPads to pilots as electronic flight bag replacements – August 17, 2011
Apple’s revolutionary iPad creates the paperless cockpit – July 5, 2011
Alaska Airlines pilots using Apple iPads in cockpit – May 23, 2011
Mission-critical Apple iPads in cockpits may hasten end of era for paper charts – March 7, 2011
FAA authorizes use of Jeppesen app on iPad to replace paper aeronautical charts – February 16, 2011
Fokker and Navtech introduces Electronic Flight Bag hardware for Apple’s revolutionary iPad – January 28, 2011

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  1. I am at the airport right now just waiting to board a Delta Airlines flight. The flight is delayed because all the Delta employees are dancing in the aisles and there seems to be champagne bottles popping in the cockpit.

    1. I still remember last year when I was flying from EWR (Newark, NJ) to YUL (Montreal) and lost about 6 hours of visiting time in Montreal because the Delta’s entire computer system for their whole network was down.
      Glad they’re upgrading the flight crew tech, and I hope they’re planning to improve their other IT, too.

    1. Sorry, I would use the word disgust. I realize it is not the fault of the people on the ground, but the CEO and CFO of Delta ought to be drawn and quartered, figuratively speaking.

      Saving money on hardware, when you have to use inferior systems JUST DOESN”T PAY OFF.

      1. You obviously have no clue how the aviation industry works. Reliability and safety blow away purchase price in decisions.

        Apple used to be a lot like aerospace companies but now Cook is chasing easy money skimming app sales and running a fashion boutique.

        Apple sells nothing even close to the Panasonic Toughbook — the preferred choice among many of us aviation professionals.

        1. As an ***actual*** major airline PILOT here in the USA, I can assure you there is no room in a cockpit for anything other than a tablet for the purposes we use these tablets for—navigation charts, manuals, and live weather. While I suppose you could fly around with a couple unsecured Toughbooks bouncing about, a secured iPad is a no-brainer.

          Delta was an outlier with the use of Surface, and that only happened because Microsoft was willing to spend $$$ for publicity and artificial “aviation” market share.

          Apparently the contract is up and Microsoft is no longer willing to pay Delta to use Surfaces so Delta is now transitioning to the platform they should have started with.

          1. The in-service pilot I know alllll swear by the iPad. Some keep iPad-mini as emergency backup device……

            Flight planning with iPad, WX realtime iPad….awesome…..
            Ok then, who wants to go back to the E6-B?????? crickets…

            1. Look at the other comment. He/she does not FLY for anybody. In fact, I would not be surprised if he’s just a kid that watches airplanes and knows a mechanic with a Toughbook. The Toughbook is great as a rugged laptop, but anybody that has actually ever set foot in a cockpit (airline or corporate) would know instantly why Toughbooks are useless for navigational charts. What are you supposed to do, hold the Toughbook with one hand and fly with the other? Meanwhile, tablets are easily mounted.

            1. WSI PilotBrief. But that’s via a corporate account, FAA approved, and integrated into other dispatch systems. For hobbyists and private pilots there’s plenty of other options that I only have superficial knowledge so I can’t recommend a specific one.

          2. Whoopty dooo, you fly a big airplane and you use what the corporate honchos give you.

            For maintenance ops on our corporate fleet, we need PCs and Apple doesn’t offer the goods.

            A big F U to your condescending fukn Apple attitude.

            1. Ha!

              The article mentions Delta replacing tablets for FLIGHT CREWS (aka pilots and flight attendants).

              I’m sure that Toughbook is perfect for use in the hanger—a totally different environment and use case.

      2. No, you perpetually negative moron. It wasn’t a bidding issue; it was simply because they wanted their in-house Windows-based apps to run natively in Surface tablets. Note that Delta DID use iPads from 2011 to early 2014.

        The continued problems with reliability (and the resultant lack of faith that the pilots had in the Surface) were the reasons why the costly decision to switch was made. Proprietary apps have been either ported/re-coded or moved to a web server platform. Additionally, Delta wanted to take advantage of IBM’s ridiculously powerful iOS-only apps that are specifically tailored to the commercial aviation industry. One app, for example, allows a pilot who’s flight path is heavy with turbulence to use an IBM app to simply type in a new ceiling (say, going from 30,000 feet to 34,000 feet where there is much less turbulence at the time). The app immediately calculates the increased fuel cost based on weather conditions, fuel consumption rates, and number of paid passengers on board and then basically give a thumbs up (or down) based on the fuel cost delta. This previously would’ve required a call to someone at Delta who would run the numbers in a calculator, and then a call back to the pilot to give the approval or denial for the requested flight change.

        An iPad Pro weighs approximately 1 (10.5″) to 1.5 (12.9″) pounds versus the 46 (yes, forty-six) pounds that the paper map flight bag kit weighed.

        1. You’re about 85% correct. It was a very close decision and not finalised until a few weeks ago. A lot more factors at play.

          And the IBM apps are fucking trash.

    1. Probably because Apple doesn’t even try to serve many markets. Hardware flexibility is actually quite narrow in the Apple world. You also have to ask yourself how well Apple will support it. Airplanes are designed to last decades. 1st gen iPad owner, how’s that working for ya?

  2. Why doesn’t Delta keep using Windows Phones if they’re so great? Oh, wait… Microsoft doesn’t support them anymore.

    Maybe that saying “No one ever got fired for choosing Microsoft products” is no longer valid.

    I’d sure like to know why Delta chose Microsoft over Apple for hardware. iPhones and iPads have always held an advantage over Windows Phones and Surface tablets. I’m willing to bet Microsoft stock won’t be affected at all and, in fact, go up even higher in spite of Delta dumping those Microsoft products.

    1. They chose them because unlike ios you have full os version control and native support for your existing business apps, and Airbus are pushing everyone to Windows..

  3. The NFL is not gonna be around long enough to need to dump the Surfaces and switch to iPads.

    Roger Goodell needed to be fired last season, but alas, it didn’t happen. As long as he remains as commissioner, it’s gonna continue to get worse.

    No mercy for the entitled millionaires club.

  4. I just upgraded from the iPad Air to iPad Pro 10.5 and HOLY COW this iPad is a beast. Fast, beautiful screen, multitasking, super fast scrolling, I see why Delta is going with the Pro! Surface is a toy compared to the Pro!

  5. NFL is a non-profit organization, so they’re not concerned about things working well or saving money. The owners are pocketing the money from Microsoft, so they’re fine with the status quo 🙂

    1. The NLF is a for profit organization. Very much so. If you mean the Office of the Commissioner, that’s different. But the NLF consists of teams that are run by owners who own them to make a profit, just like every other sporting league. If a club isn’t making a profit,mits often sold, and moved to another city where its thought it will make a profit.

      I can’t even imagine where you get the idea it’s a non profit.

  6. Originally, when Delta was asked why Windows tablets and phones, the answer was that as they were a Microsoft shop in their backend, it was easier to just continue with that. Most other major airlines went with iPads and iPhones.

    But now, with Win Phone dead, they can’t continue with that, and so if they’re going to move to iOS there, it just makes sense to use iOS tablets too. It took some time, but I always figured they would get there.

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