JetBlue Airways becomes the first US airline to accept Apple Pay for in-flight purchases

JetBlue Airways Apple Pay image 001

Sky is definitely not the limit for Apple’s mobile payment service as JetBlue Airways announced on Tuesday that it will very soon start accepting Apple Pay for in-flight purchases of premium offerings, such as EatUp snack boxes and à la carte food options from the EatUp Café, premium beverages, onboard amenities and Even More Space seating.

The airline will start accepting Apple Pay on select JetBlue transcontinental flights from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco in mid-February. Apple Pay will roll out to additional flights beginning in March, with all JetBlue flights accepting Apple Pay by June.

USA Today reports that onboard amenities will be available for purchase when the plane reaches cruising altitude. “You’ll be able to upgrade to available premium seats, too,” reads the article.

In addition to onboard purchases, JetBlue customers will be able use Apple Pay to complete purchases in JetBlue’s mobile iOS app later this year.

Here’s a hands-on video of JetBlue’s Apple Pay integration.

They’re accepting Apple Pay via iPad minis outfitted with NFC-enabled cases and a special in-house software called The Inflight Service Assistant. More than 3,500 units will be distributed to JetBlue’s inflight crew members. The NFC cases also accept traditional credit card purchases.

Some of the app’s features include identifying TrueBlue and Mosaic loyalty members by name (so crewmembers could wish a customer a happy birthday, for example), up-to-date flight information, aircraft configuration and safety information.

Apple’s VP for Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, told the paper that other airlines could soon roll out Apple Pay as well because “somebody else doing it always puts pressure on the other guy”.

“Most people would prefer not to carry cash or worry about cash,” he said. “There’s a lot of opportunity there,” Cue added while alluding that Apple Pay could make huge headway with subways and public transit systems.

However local governments requirements and necessary funding are causing those things to “move slower than you and I would like. But it’s clear you’ll see more and more of those, but on a very regional basis.”

Source: JetBlue via USA Today