Delta launches new iPad, iPhone apps

Delta Air Lines rolled out new apps for the iPad and iPhone Friday as part of a $140 million investment in technology aimed at connecting with customers in new ways and boosting revenue.

The free applications allow travelers to book flights through their Apple iPhone and iPad devices, and give Delta more ways to sell everything from extra legroom to hotel bookings.

The sales pitches are wrapped in a travel app that offers information on things to do at a destination, connections to friends’ travel photos and comments on social media, and other extras. Companies use data gathered from such interactive offerings to customize their marketing, a tactic that generates privacy concerns among some consumers.

Within the iPad app, one feature called Glass Bottom Jet is specifically for those who buy in-flight wi-fi access. It allows them to see a map of the ground they are flying over with highlights from the Internet and social networking.

One factor underlying Delta’s technology investment over the past 18 months — its largest in more than a decade — is a push for more online and self-service bookings, which cost Delta less than those made through a reservations agent. The airline revamped its website in November, generating some complaints about difficulty using the new site. It plans to roll out more website improvements in the first half of the year.

An update to the Delta app for Android devices is set for early this year.