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Emirates will roll out over 1,000 Windows 8 tablets across its fleet next year, with the ability to grant instant upgrades to bump passengers to business class or even first class -- provided they've got enough frequent flyer points to pay for it, of course.
The tablets, supplied by HP, will also be used to help the cabin crew personalise their service, such as what type of meals you prefer to be served, and collect feedback which is automatically routed back to Emirates HQ.
Each Windows tablet will run an updated version of Emirates' KIS (Knowledge-driven Inflight Services) app.
How Emirates' instant on-board upgrades will work
"One of the things that we're very proud about is the fact that we've been able to offer upgrades to our customers, inflight' explains Kevin Griffiths, Emirates' Senior Vice President Cabin Crew. "It's something that's unique about Emirates."
The touchscreen tablets make that upgrade process easier, showing you which seats are available.
The app will debit your Skywards miles if you decide that economy isn't for you today, or that you'd like to move up to the rarefied heights of Emirates' swanky first class suites.
Since the devices have 3G, the tablets update themselves with information (and send any adjustments to your Skywards balance) before the doors close or once the plane has landed.
Even if you're not upgrading, the HP tablet and KIS app make it easier to swap seats within the same cabin.
The also enable the crew to immediately recognise and greet frequent flyers with a warm welcome, and have a more relevant chat to you based on the information you've provided to the airline.
This might cover new routes, extra flights, or additional frequent flyer benefits.
The app even includes information on where Emirates' international cabin crew come from, and which languages are spoken on board.
And if you have feedback on a cabin crew member who's either delighted or disappointed you, make sure you catch the purser before landing.
Emirates' new system means that the purser can note down your thoughts, have a chat with the crewmember, and the feedback will land in their file for review with their boss back in Dubai.
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