If you saw my blog on the new Fly Delta app for iPad, you could be forgiven for missing my mention that Delta also released a sharp-looking update for their iPhone app last Friday as well. In fact, I found the iPhone update before finding out that a new iPad app was in the offing. One improvement I had long hoped Delta would make to their iPhone app was the ability to view more details about my SkyMiles account like elite qualifying progress and individual transactions. With Friday’s update, I got that, and a lot more.

The fresher looking home screen includes the information it always did, this time with your SkyMiles number and balance displayed, but rotating back and forth with your Medallion status.

The home screen feels familiar, but there’s also a new “My Delta” option that offers a lot more information than has been there in the past.

The number one thing I wanted from the Delta iPhone app is now there, more detailed information on my SkyMiles account. Clicking on My SkyMiles you’ll now find your annual elite qualifying progress and details on individual mileage transactions.

There are additional options from your My Delta screen as well, such as viewing upcoming itineraries, your profile, and your wallet. Yes, you can even update your stored credit cards via the iPhone app now.

Any of the essential things you might want to add or update like address, telephone, and even your secure flight information can now be updated via your iPhone. Travel and special service preferences can even be taken care of here.

Booking flights appears to be as clean and simple as the iPad app. I’ve yet to book a Delta flight from my iPhone, but certainly would not mind doing so, especially when it’s as easy at looks on the Fly Delta app. Finally, Delta also introduced Passbook compatibility with this update. According to Delta, updates to their Android app will be forthcoming in early 2013. Overall, I am pleased with these latest technology improvements from Delta. Wonder what else is in store in 2013?

Delta Air Lines introduced a new Fly Delta app for iPad on Friday. According to the company, the app “…is part of a $140 million investment in technology implemented by Delta. The launch of the app is latest in a phased rollout of a significantly improved online and digital customer experience which also included the 2012 launches of the new delta.com in November and revamped self-service kiosks in September.” I haven’t seen the difference in kiosks because I almost always check in via Delta’s iPhone app (also updated Friday). I was flying Delta Friday afternoon, so I took the opportunity to try the new Fly Delta app for iPad. You can view Delta’s promotional video on the new app here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoGgMXx_Fic

I was connected to GoGo inflight wi-fi for the allowed duration of my flight, and found the speeds to be OK, but not great. (Side note: is it just me, or are more people using GoGo?) The semi-sluggish wi-fi may have impacted my experience using the app, especially the new Glass Bottom Jet feature, which I found to be kind of interesting, entertaining even. Glass Bottom Jet appears to work through Google maps to offer information about the area you are flying over. If there was something on the internet related to the area you are passing over, information about that appeared on the map. Here’s a screen shot.

Click on the “W” and read the Wiki article, or the camera and see a picture. Also, check out the speed, altitude and position indicator on the upper right of the screen. If you’re interested, you can review Delta’s promotion video of the feature here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx8SzVhJ4UI

I tried some other features too. “My Delta” offers summaries of your SkyMiles activity, details on your current and upcoming trips.

You could even click on your origin and destination on the map, and get the current weather.

The Destinations feature offers fare specials from around the world, all bookable from the app.

I tried the booking feature and found it to be intuitive. If you’ve booked a trip on Delta.com, you can book a trip here.

Booking worked easily. You can’t search award travel from directly within the app, but there is a link to “more search options on Delta.com” that offers more options including award bookings. Finally, the app featured an “Entertainment” guide that included access to Delta Sky Magazine and other options that appear to change based on destination such as movies for download on iTunes, book recommendations, again downloadable via iTunes, and watching trailers for movies offered onboard.

The bottom line. I thought the Fly Delta app for iPad was pretty slick. From a business perspective, I think it might serve as a great platform to place product in front of customers in new and innovative ways. I would think that an Android based application might be on the way at some point as well. I have said this before and I will say it again now, from a customer perspective, I like the direction Delta is headed. The results of their investments in running a decent airline are obvious. I remain hopeful that SkyMiles will get to come along for the ride.

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