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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Japanese Flight Attendants Get iPads For Training

All Nippon Airways Co. (ANA)  has announced it will provide Apple Inc. iPad's to each of its 6,000 flight attendants. Sure... but are the peanuts extra?

Well... now they can tell you right away that the peanuts will cost you $3 (Y230). Okay... I'm being a knob.

According to ANA, there will first be a testing of some 700 flight attendants beginning in October, with the plan for all remaining fight attendants to receive their iPads in April of 2012.

This is not for actual in-flight use. It is for training purposes only, and it is expected to reduce ANA's flight attendant training costs by Y200-million (~ Cdn/US 2.6-million) per year because they can be trained quicker.

Let's see... the average price for an iPad in Japan is Y48,960 (~ Cdn/US $641.14) for the Wi-Fi 16GB version (the cheapest). Let's multiply that by the approximately 6,000 flight attendants, and we have an initial electronics investment of Y293,760,000 (~ Cdn/US $3.84 million). Holy no-smokes allowed! That ain't peanuts ($3 or Y230 a bag). Don't say ain't. It ain't polite.

Of course, I'm sure the ANA will receive a discount for the iPad's for its bulk order...

These iPads will contain digital versions of the ANA's manuals that cover work tasks and safety procedures.

This information is now printed out in three booklets totaling some 1,000 pages and weighing 2.1kg (4.63 lbs), which each flight attendant is expected to carry around.

So... the cost savings are in printing... as well as in weight of the manuals that the sexy ANA stewardesses and efficient stewards will no longer have to carry.

The iPad will certainly make things easier for the flight attendants-in-training. No question. As well, the ANA will be able to make changes to the manuals without having to scrap and reprint the old ones.

According to ANA, downloading of the manuals and other information such as in-flight menus, will be accessed via the cloud computing service of Softbank Corp. group firm Softbank Telecom Corp.

If you are like me and going - 'what the hell is cloud computing?!" I looked it up for you. Cloud computing is the offering of a coputing as a service rather than as a product. It has shared resources, software and information provided to computers. Basically, you can download stuff from the iPad onto your own computer so you can have a copy of the manuals... unless of course your computer dies on you. And that never happens.

So... I'm assuming the flight attendants do not get to keep the iPads. Or do they? And with every class of flight attendants-in-training, the ANA will purchase or have the student purchase  

The iPads will also contain multimedia materials, including audio self-study guides on in-flight announcements and videos on how to respond in emergency situations. The availability of self-study materials will reduce the time involved in bringing people together for training.

The training for flight attendants operating in business class on international flights now takes two years and 10 months. The use of the iPads will shorten the time to one year and nine months.

Now the use of an iPad for flight attendants is not a new phenomenon. Apple already has an app out there for flight attendant use on flights. You can see that APP HERE.

Personally...I like paper and prefer to have a hard copy over a digital file any day... and this is me with the blog and the Twitter account talking. I just like the tactile feel of a book or magazine... it let's me know that it's real.

Just so you know, I picked this story up from my friend Marc's Searching for Accurate Maps blog, which he also readily admits he found at the website. This version has my own ramblings added to make it uniquely a Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife blog entry.

Files compiled by
Andrew Joseph


  1. You did a great job spicing up that article. But hey! If you're gonna steal someone's stealings, at least get the link right.
    Searching for Accurate Maps

  2. Dammit! This is the first time this week I have messed up a link! Sorry Marc. It will never happen again with your excellent site: Searching For Accurate Maps... as I continue to do my own Searching for Accurate Links!!! Nertz.

  3. OK, that was a suitably grovelling apology. Accepted ;-)
    Just added your wandafuru saito to my buroggu ro-ru.