Fly Delta App for iPad – First Look and Review

By Jonathan Spira on 11 January 2013
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Main Delta Screen

The new Fly Delta iPad app

Earlier today, Delta Air Lines released a new dedicated iPad app, Fly Delta, which was also the name of the old app as well as the airline’s smartphone apps.  The move followed the launch of a new Delta website last November and is part of what the company says is a $140 million program to improve customer-facing digital technology.

The app was designed from the bottom up for use on the Apple iPad and is clearly not ported over from the smartphone app.  It goes far beyond flight lookups, check-ins, and basic account information and provides a variety of useful information that can be helpful when travelling.  It also integrates the new Delta website quite nicely but we’ll get to that shortly.

Setup is easy although it took longer than most iPad apps to download, presumably thanks to the large number of images that the app uses.

After I logged in, the app offered to play an orientation video that I was able to watch on my flatscreen TV using Apple Airplay.  The video is useful but barely scratches the surface of the app’s potential.


Delta's glass bottom jet

Delta’s glass bottom jet

The app gives the traveler access to a variety of well-organized information that may be useful for his trip. This includes non-traditional information about the destination (which integrates with Facebook so that your Facebook friends will show up inside the app), as well as the usual information on what to see and do.  For your flight, you’ll find information about inflight movies and entertainment and Wi-Fi services (all of Delta’s mainline aircraft have in-flight Internet access).

Your Facebook friends will show up in the Destinations feature in the “insider sections but the number of cities is limited.  I only found sections on Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit, and Atlanta, admittedly big hubs in the Delta network.  (The video showed a guide for New York City but I was unable to access it if it existed.)

Indeed, a bunch of my friends who have been to Atlanta, the city I looked at in this section, showed up, including our European editor, Christian Stampfer, who was there a day ago.  It also showed me where in Atlanta my friends had been, which in Christian’s case included the World of Coca-Cola and (appropriately enough) the Delta Museum.

One of my favorite features is what Delta calls the “glass bottom jet.”  This feature allows a passenger to view the ground below the aircraft in maps (including 3-D versions) along with landmarks.  It’s not live footage, of course, but it is interactive: users can tap icons to view more information about a landmark and the app’s Facebook functionality will share your location with friends (if desired).

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