Microsoft, Nokia, AT&T and Avanade have teamed up to create a mobile tool for Delta Air Lines' flight attendants, which the airline hopes will improve its customers' experience.
More than 19,000 of Delta's flight attendants will receive a Nokia Lumia 820 device, which uses Windows Phone 8 operating system, and operates over AT&T's 4G LTE network. The device has a pre-installed Avanade Mobile Airline point of sale (POS) platform.
The platform is an end-to-end retail application for airlines that was jointly developed with Avanade's parent company, Accenture. The app combines Microsoft Dynamics for Retail software with Avanade's Connected Stores solution.
Flight attendants began testing the Nokia Lumia 820 and the software during flights in June.
According to Avanade, the resulting solution enables "near real-time" credit card processing for on-board purchases such as food and drinks; receipts that can be emailed to customers; and the ability to read coupons displayed on a customer's mobile device.
In addition, flight attendants will be able to see passengers' frequent flyer information, passenger manifests, and connecting gate updates.
Dan O'Hara, mobility vice president at Avanade, claimed that Delta aims to drive greater productivity for its employees and better engagement with its customers.
"This solution delivers those results by creating an in-flight mobile retail experience that marries human interactions with technology-enabled processes and insights," he said.
Delta, which reportedly serves more than 160 million customers each year, will benefit from its employees being more connected, according to Wayne Morris, corporate vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions Marketing.
Morris claimed that this was partly due to the Windows Phone Live Tiles being able to provide information such as flight tracking from the Delta Fly app, at a glance, in addition to Microsoft Office integration and linked email inboxes.