JetBlue will be the first major airline to accept Apple Pay for passengers making in-flight purchases.
The smartphone wallet can be used to buy things onboard like food, drinks and seat upgrades.
The Apple Pay option will start with some flights between New York and San Francisco and Los Angeles in mid-February. The roll out to additional flights will begin in March, with all JetBlue flights accepting Apple Pay by June.
Passengers will be able their iPhone 6 or 6 Plus and the Apple Watch once the device starts shipping in April. Since its launch in September of last year, Apple Pay accounts for $2 out of every $3 spent by contactless payment systems for major U.S. credit cards.
“The sky is definitely not the limit when it comes to mobile payments with Apple Pay,” said Marty St George, senior vice president, commercial, JetBlue. “Customers want an easy and fast transaction when they decide to make an on-board purchase so that they can get back to enjoying their flight.”
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.
In addition to Apple Pay, each iPad mini will be loaded with a custom-designed iOS app – The Inflight Service Assistant – which will give inflight cabin crew access to customer manifest and flight data to provide the best experience possible to JetBlue customers.
JetBlue says that the Inflight Service Assistant app offers cabin crew the ability to easily identify JetBlue frequent passengers by name for those special touches like wishing a customer a happy birthday. But it has always been possible to do that. This is not new. So we look forward to seeing the innovations JetBlue have to offer with the Inflight Service Assistant.
Joanna Geraghty, executive vice president, customer experience, JetBlue, said,”JetBlue has always stood out because our crewmembers care about our customers. By giving crewmembers thoughtful ways to use technology, we can support an even more personalized onboard experience with a perfect partnership of high tech and high touch.”