The future of flight attendant luggage may end up being even smaller than those tiny carry-on bags you often see them wheeling around as they roam airports in flight attendant packs; British Airways is testing to see whether iPads will make cabin crews helpful and more productive during loading and flights.
100 cabin crew members will be given the tablets as part of a pilot program to see how they impact in-flight service, replacing printed charts, timetables and other material they normally carry.
According to Bill Francis, British Airways’s head of in-flight customer experience, the program is going well even in its earliest days:
We’re receiving great feedback from cabin crew and customers already. It allows the crew to offer the thoughtful service they want to deliver and customers are treated as valued guests.
If ultimately successful, BA will roll out iPads to 1,800 cabin crew members. This won’t be the first iPad in-flight program, however; United Continental has already started to replace printed flight manuals for pilots with iPads and Alaska Airlines announced plans earlier this year to do the same. Hopefully they’ll all remember to set wi-fi to “airplane mode” before take-off.
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.