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Delta Air Lines and Microsoft on Thursday announced plans to equip every flight attendant with a Windows Phone to use on board. Each of the company's 19,000+ flight attendants will receive a Nokia Lumia 820 handset with AT&T service that will primarily rely on Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity to handle in-flight point-of-sale and other services.
The phones will work in conjunction with the Microsoft Dynamics for Retail mobile point-of-sale platform to facilitate onboard purchases with near real-time credit card processing. Other perks include the ability to e-mail electronic receipts directly to a customer's inbox, use pre-paid cards for onboard purchases and in the near future, have the ability to read coupons displayed on a customer's mobile device.
The Lumias aren't just for selling services, however. Flight attendants will be able to use their Lumia 820s to check frequent flyer information, passenger manifestos, connecting gate information, flight attendant scheduling updates and more.
Delta has signed on for the long haul as they will be upgrading the 820s to Nokia's newest devices over the next three years per their agreement. It isn't clear if that will be a one-time upgrade or if it'll take place over several cycles but either way, it means more phones out the door for Nokia.
It's also a boost for Microsoft as the Windows Phone platform is now ranked third behind Android and iOS (second in Latin America). The mobile OS surpassed BlackBerry earlier this month in smartphone OS share for the first time.