January 22, 2013

Delta Eases Travelers' Angst with Technology


Traveling, whether it is for business or pleasure, can be extremely frustrating. After you are required to arrive at the airport hours before your plane will even arrive, you are then subject to multiple bag searches and security checkpoints that can quickly turn a person longing to see what the world has to offer into a hermit. Luckily, Delta airlines is stepping up the plate and helping flyers pass the time via access to iPads.

According to The New York Times, in a 24- hour period nearly 38,000 travelers venture through Delta Air Lines’ two terminals within La Guardia Airport that is located in the northern part of New York City’s Queens borough. Recently, the major airline decided to join wing, I mean hands, with technological innovation in order to help alleviate some of the frustrations often arising from being forced to sit and wait for hours before you can finally be on the way to your intended destination.

“We wanted to create the desire to go to the airport early, not because you need to get to the airport early but because you think, ‘I’ll get there early, plug my laptop in, get a glass of wine and relax before my flight,” Rick Blatstein, chief executive of OTG Management, the airport restaurant company that manages restaurants found within terminals C and D, said in a statement.

 In order to do just that, airport visitors can now utilize iPads free of charge or even elect to charge their favorite gadgets via readily supplied USB ports. Decide to purchase something off the menu from one of the cafes near your gate? Before, during or after your meal you can not only check your important e-mail messages but pay for your meal as easy as 1, 2, 3.

“I was pleasantly surprised to see this option when I flew Delta last summer,” said TechZone360 Web editor Rich Steeves. “I had fully intended to eat a candy bar and read a paperback, but instead, I hopped onto an iPad, ordered a salad and played games for an hour. It was fun and relaxing.”

Image via USI Affinity

“Our mission is to provide services above our customers’ expectation,” added Mario Rodriguez, the airport’s director. “We want to make sure this is a proper first impression and a wonderful final impression of the city.”

First making iPads available to bored passengers at Kennedy airport back in November 2010, after seeing how great people thought the idea was, Delta knew it needed to bring the tablets to La Guardia as well. Both Delta and OTG agree that by giving weary travelers an outlet for their nervous and in some cases angry feelings coined “gate anxiety,” their time waiting for their plane to arrive will fly by (pun most definitely intended). An added bonus of being able to leverage the device is that you no longer need to walk miles to find the exact type of food you are craving. Instead, it will now be delivered right to your very seat.

Additionally, last week the airline made headlines when it unveiled its new application called the Fly Delta app. Designed with the goal of assisting customers in an array of travel-related activities, the app contains a "Glass Bottom Jet," an extremely cool function that lets customers see the area as they pass over it in the plane through maps, in addition to being able to use social networks and browse through websites of their selection via Delta’s new line of 800 Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft. It also boasts key travel planning solutions that users can leverage to plan a trip with ease, research locations and even check in for their flight.

"Our goal is to simplify the digital experience across the touch points where our customers already spend their time by making their interactions with Delta easy and intuitive," Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s executive vice president-Network Planning, Revenue Management and Marketing concluded. "The incredible functionality and innovation found in the new iPad app embodies all that we’re doing to further improve the digital experience customers have with Delta. All of this represents the largest investment to delta.com and digital technology in more than a decade.

It’s no secret that with the increasing cost to fly people are closely analyzing every aspect of their flying experience before booking another vacation. Delta is hoping that with technology in hand it will be able to entice the public to as Frank Sinatra says, “Come Fly with Me.”




Edited by Rich Steeves



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