JetBlue will become the first airline to accept Apple Pay next week

News / Mobile phones

JetBlue will become the first airline to accept Apple Pay next week

  • 2015-02-13 14:49:13
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News / Mobile phones JetBlue will become the first airline to accept Apple Pay next week


Paying too much for snacks and last-minute gifts while you’re 35,000 feet up in the air is going to get a whole lot easier next week as JetBlue becomes the world’s first airline to accept Apple Pay.

The carrier is swapping its existing payment terminals for iPad minis equipped with NFC cases, which will allow passengers to pay for food, drinks, and other goods using only their iPhones once the plane reaches cruising altitude. Apple Pay can also be used to upgrade to premium seats.

In addition, JetBlue will support payments from Apple Watch when the device goes on sale in April, and starting in the third quarter, customers will be able to handle the entire payment process themselves using JetBlue’s own iOS app.

“The process works similarly to the way you might buy stuff in stores using Apple Pay,” writes Ed Baig of USA Today, who tried out the system on a flight from New York to Los Angeles.

“After ordering a salad, I raised the iPhone right up next to a flight attendant’s iPad Mini while pressing my thumb against the secure TouchID fingerprint button on the phone. The transaction, via an American Express card in this case, almost immediately registered.”

The move should speed up the inflight shopping process with fewer passengers having to fumble around for a credit card in a cramped seat. However, those without a compatible iPhone will still be able to use a regular card to pay.

JetBlue’s iPads will also offer an Inflight Service Assistant app, USA Today reports, which will contain “information that helps flight attendants identify frequent fliers or passengers with a birthday.” It will also include the entire flight manual, with the FAA’s blessing.

JetBlue will initially support Apple Pay on transcontinental flights between JFK and airports in San Francisco and LA, but it will be extended to additional routes in March. By June, all JetBlue flights will be using Apple Pay onboard.

This isn’t the only mobile payment system JetBlue will take advantage of, either; Rachel McCarthy, vice president of the inflight experience, has promised that Apple Pay rivals such as Google Wallet will also be available to passengers “down the road.”

[via USA Today]

Categories: Mobile phones

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