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Delta flight attendants to get “phablets”

Delta Air Lines said its flight attendants will sell meals to passengers and get information about customers’ frequent flier status on handheld “phablet” devices starting in October.

The Nokia Lumia 1520 with a six-inch screen — a cross between a phone and a tablet — will also include the on-board manual required to be carried by Delta’s more than 20,000 flight attendants. The airline said that will save more than $1 million annually in printing costs and fuel from carrying the five-pound manuals with more than 500 pages.

The phablets will replace smaller Nokia Lumia 820 devices that Delta flight attendants use. The airline also last year announced its pilots would get Surface 2 tablets to replace paper navigational charts and manuals.

Delta chief executive Richard Anderson said the company is making a “huge investment in technology,” and one aim is to get better information into the hands of employees.

“Ultimately you want every employee at Delta to operate with a handheld device,” Anderson said during remarks at the Rutberg Global Summit in Atlanta last month.

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