It has been only a recent while that major airlines are integrating the Apple iPad to their standard process and procedures, such as the pre-flight checklists. The main question was how airlines will be using the iPad as a tool of customer service. Delta made an innovative approach to this, which surely will create some serious “wow” effect among passengers.
There were already plans that Delta would be renovating and modernizing the OTG programme in locations as New York’s JFK, La Guardia and Minneapolis’ St. Paul International Airport by installing iPads to the food and beverage section, to enable passengers order by touch and have the food delivered to their seat in less than 10 minutes.
The summit of the OTG programme is the “OTG Media Bar”, which is simply a virtual newsstand Delta plans to introduce in 2012. The OTG Media Bar looks exactly like a traditional, everyday magazine stand with the slight modification that magazines are replaced by iPads. So instead of flipping through newspapers and magazines, passengers will flip through iPads to see what publications, music, and movies they like. They will also have the choice of downloading the contents of their liking and renting the iPad for the duration of their trip. They would return the iPad when landed at their destination airport.
If travellers already own an iPad, they will be able to download the contents they choose among a very affluent and updated database. Rick Blatstein, CEO of OTG Management said that, “As we all know, the newsstand has changed over time, and the OTG Media Bars will give passengers a wealth of options and information.”
I believe that this is only the first step in the process and we are likely to hear from other innovative airlines regarding the usage of tablets as customer service tools. We should wait and see who would act to make this process go one step further.
Here is also a pair of pictures the OTG management released of the OTG Media Bar.