Delta will provide 11,000 pilots with Surface 2 electronic flight bags

Delta will provide 11,000 pilots with Surface 2 electronic flight bags

Summary: Delta recently announced that flight attendants would be getting Windows Phone 8 devices, and now they will be equipping pilots with Windows 8.1 RT Surface 2 devices.


Last month, I wrote about Delta equipping 19,000+ flight attendants with Windows Phone 8. On Monday, Delta said it will also be providing 11,000 pilots with Microsoft Surface 2 flight bags.

Delta will provide 11,000 pilots with Surface 2 electronic flight bags
(Image: Microsoft)

It seems Delta is quite supportive of the Microsoft ecosystem, and if you read the details of the press release, its usage of these new Surface 2, running Windows RT 8.1, makes perfect sense.

I bought an original Surface RT and still think there are valid use cases for such as device. This includes college students, those looking for a UI similar to their work PC that is not just for work, and people like these Delta pilots.

Delta stated that it will save $13 million each year in fuel and associated costs by using these Surface 2 electronic flight bags. Delta will be using FliteDeck Pro on the Surface 2 for charts, navigation utilities, and other real-time information.

Pilots currently carry a traditional 38-pound flight bag so Delta will realize savings in weight and in paper reduction. The ability to view multiple applications side by side is a benefit for pilots, as well.

Related stories:

Topics: Mobility, Tablets, Microsoft Surface, Windows 8

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  • reference customer ???

    My uneducated guess : MS desperately is in need of large reference customers and therefore gave Delta the devices almost for free. At least this is common practice when money is no object.
    • Apple is known to give away free ipads

      to every tv shows asking for it or anythying that could make enhance apple's visibility.
      Simon Tupper
      • Yes, that's called

        marketing and it looks like Microsoft finally discovered how to do the same, only with Airlines. It is worth noting that American uses iPads for the same in-flight bags.
    • People are just looking for reasons to hate microsoft

      when there's really none....
      Simon Tupper
    • Re: My uneducated guess

      I agree, very uneducated...
    • Wrong as before.

      Your uneducated personal guess is incorrect!
    • Wouldn't be surprised.

      Microsoft have actually been using Delta's WP8 in-flight devices in some of their demonstrations to Dynamics customers and partners at recent conferences. Delta appear to be a strong reference point for some of MS' Mobile POS and other business mobile app initiatives.
    • I doubt Microsoft gave Delta the devices for free

      or almost free. They would have written off the full price as a marketing expense. Considering the way all of the press releases are done jointly it does seem to be a marketing expense. I think the Delta Marketing team has taken the lead on the press part of this. Microsoft may be getting smarter about marketing by letting Delta do the talking, as Microsoft marketing usually is not as polished as the way this was handled.
  • Do you have proof for that?

    How do you know Microsoft paid Delta to have them as reference customer? I don't care about your guess work or accusations, I need concrete proof.
    Ram U
    • The above is for @EnticingHavoc

      Ram U
      • Maybe it's a reasonable theory

        This is from Apple insider so take it with a grain of salt:

        Interesting quote from the article:
        "We fought hard for iPad," a pilot working for the airline told AppleInsider. He described the Delta deal as being about money, travel contracts, and Delta's Information Technology staff historically being "in bed" with Microsoft.
  • I was watching NFL on fox sunday, everyone had a surface

    even Terry Bradshaw can use one :)
  • Surface will rule......

    Surface is a great business device for those that enjoy diversity without compromise.
  • My Surface came

    in a box of Cracker-Jacks :) Just kidding.

    "Flight attendants will use the Nokia phones as an in-flight cash register to sell drinks and food. It's equipped with a credit card reader and special retail software from Microsoft and a company called Avanade."

    Read more:
    • Follow up

      Looks to be the first round purchase:

      "Delta is testing the tablets on its Boeing 757s and 767s, which are flown by the same group of pilots. Delta is hoping for Federal Aviation Administration approval next year to use them throughout the flight, and it hopes to have approval for all of its other planes by the end of next year."

      Read more:
  • Avoid Delta at all costs

    Mental Note - Don't fly Delta. Any company relying on vastly inferior Microsoft solutions does not get my money. Especially when lives are at stake. No thanks.
    • OK

      Do you even have any money for a ticket?
    • Better avoid almost every company then

      Nearly every company has a good set of Microsoft servers and desktops running their companies. Other than Apple and Google, I don't know of any company that doesn't rely on Microsoft outside of 20 person media companies.
      A Gray
      • Even Google and Apple

        use Microsoft technologies to do their work. Likewise, Microsoft uses Apple and Google tech in their business, so those companies aren't as religiously opposed to using good technology as some of the prejudiced users that read tech blogs.
    • As long as the pilots do not rely on Bing

      for navigation customers should reach their intended destinations as usual.