In my travels this week I found myself delayed at LaGuardia for three hours due to mechanical issues. Travel delays are never fun, especially when you’re on a tight time table. But this time, I didn’t seem to mind so much because I was at Delta’s terminal D and this was the site around me…
Literally hundreds of free access ipads available and attached to every visible area of counter space. The traditional rows of seating near the gates were replaced by workspace counters and ipads that provide free internet, the ability to order have food ordered to your station (credit cards swipes were also at every seat), purchase merchandise from concourse stores and keep up to date on your latest flight information. When you first touched the screen you were prompted for your flight info and altering throughout your browsing session of the status of your flight and time to boarding.
I explored the experience a bit and of course did a lot of people watching. In the just the 8 gate area that I was in there must have been 400 ipads accessible. Lots of people playing checkers and/or solitaire (two of the standard apps loaded) while others browsed the WSJ or caught up on FB or Twitter (three other standard apps on the intro screen). A big button for full internet access was also provided along with info on the iPad lounge pilot project. If weren’t for the presence of roller bags, a few passenger transport vehicles and of course, frequent boarding announcements, one might easily mistake the environment for a busy library.
Here’s a few articles with more info: