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iPad Apps Take to the Air | How Apple's Tablet is Taking Over the Airlines

Aug. 29th, 2011 | Comments 0 | Make a Comment   
Photo Courtesy of United Continental Holdings
The introduction of the Apple iPad has revolutionized many industries, with the latest paperless overhaul coming from the airlines. In 2010, Delta and JFK Airport in New York City ushered in the use of this innovative new technology by providing iPads to flyers awaiting departure in the terminal. The iPads are set up on tables throughout the gate area, and aside from checking weather and flight or Facebook statuses, Delta customers can order food from restaurants near their gates, like Croque Madame and Bar Brace, right from the iPad.

Once customers head to the boarding area, they will soon see flight attendants donning iPads to check in passengers for each flight. British Airways has started a trial program in which the Apple tablet will replace paper lists to identify passengers, seating assignments, frequent flyer program status and special meal requests. Another part of this trial program holds more static information like flight timetables and safety manuals, so theoretically we can avoid boarding a plane before the flight crew figures out when theyíre able to depart.

An Australian airline is going yet one step further by offering the iPad as an alternative to the standard, pre-selected in-flight entertainment. Jetstar recently held a trial program of their own where the tablets were offered on flights longer than 90 minutes. Their app on the iPad, created by Bluebox, offers travelers a pre-loaded selection of movies, TV shows, books, games, and music that is sure to circumvent any ill-advised Nic Cage movies from assaulting the vision of unsuspecting passengers.

iPads are also taking over the cockpits on United and Continental flights. Pilots will now use the new technology to replace approximately 30 pounds of paper operating manuals, navigation charts, logbooks, weather information and other documents that previously cluttered the pilotís flight bags. Aside from the obvious advantages of real-time updates to navigation, this switch will also save about 12,000 sheets of paper per pilot and 326,000 gallons of jet fuel each year
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