Starting next year, flight attendants with United Airlines will be equipped with iPhones in what the carrier says is a move toward the “paperless” flight deck. With pilots using iPads to navigate the skies, United’s flight attendants will have access to passenger information and the ability to handle on-board purchases, check email and access the company’s website for information.
Vanessa Horwell, Think Ink’s Principal and Chief Strategy Officer, says the move is as much about improved customer service as it is about mobile marketing – both of which will be enhanced by the presence of iPhones and other smartphones/mobile devices.
One of the factors fueling airlines’ increasing adoption of mobile technologies, she points out, are passenger behaviors, including their increasing reliance on mobile devices to search, book and pay for flights and other travel items from smartphones and tablets, both on the ground and in the air.
Horwell and other experts comment on United’s move in today’s Mobile Marketer column by Michael Barris.