US carrier United Airlines intends to equip its flight attendants with Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus – a ‘phablet’ with a 5.5in display. This announcement follows the deployment of iPads to pilots beginning in 2011, which began a move toward creating paperless aircraft and flight decks; the iPhone 6 Plus devices are intended to put important safety and service information at flight attendants’ fingertips.
The airline will begin distribution to its more than 23,000 mainline flight attendants during the second quarter of 2015. Upon introduction, the devices will have the ability to handle most onboard retail transactions and will enable access to company email, united.com and the company’s Intranet as well as policies and procedures manuals.
According to the airline, future enhancements could include replacing the flight attendants’ printed safety manual with an electronic version on their iPhones and providing real-time reporting and improved follow-up on aircraft cabin issues and repairs. Additionally, United plans to develop a number of customer-focused tools for the device.