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Delta Airlines Is Replacing Flight Bags With... Microsoft Surface Tablets?

In a major coup for Microsoft, Delta is purchasing up to 11,000 Surface 2 tablets to replace pilots' flight bags.

Delta Airlines Is Replacing Flight Bags With... Microsoft Surface Tablets?

[Image: Microsoft]

In a major sales coup for Microsoft, Delta Airlines announced plans to replace pilots' flight bags with Surface 2 tablets. Up to 11,000 tablets will be rolled out on 700 planes worldwide.

Skift's Jason Clampet says the move will help airlines save on fuel costs.

"This announcement demonstrates Delta's absolute commitment to bringing the best in technology innovation into their flight operations. The full HD Surface screen and ten-hour battery life will be perfect for flights where Delta pilots will get seamless real-time data and visualization in a variety of lighting conditions. And then they can be productive off the plane with Microsoft Office and our click-in keyboard. We look forward to seeing how Delta amazes us with its Surfaces," Microsoft's Brian Hall said in a release.

But for tablet and travel industry observers, the amazing thing might be the future ramifications of this deal. Redmond has struggled to find customers for the Surface, and the aviation industry largely prefers iPads. There's no word on whether Microsoft gave Delta preferential pricing in the deal, or how Delta will juggle firmware updates with FAA requirements.

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