Published November 04, 2015
Apple Pay is all set for lift off with JetBlue next week, enabling iPhone 6-owning passengers to purchase snacks, drinks and other items with a single touch.
Fliers will also be able to pay for an upgrade to available premium seats using their Apple handset, USA Today reported Monday.
The introduction of the service makes JetBlue the first airline to offer Apple Pay as a way of making purchases during flights.
As the news outlet points out, offering Apple Pay as a transaction option could make things a little easier for passengers cooped up in coach. Reaching for a tucked-away credit card or cash might not always be an easy maneuver to make, while a smartphone is more likely to be close at hand, though in this case it’ll need to be an iPhone 6.
Related: DT’s guide to Apple Pay
Around 3,500 JetBlue flight attendants will use modified iPad Minis to take care of the Apple Pay purchases. The tablets can also handle regular credit cards, allowing the airline to do away with its current in-flight payment devices.
JetBlue’s incoming consignment of iPad Minis will also include an Inflight Service Assistant app containing passenger information, as well as the flight bag, traditionally a hefty paper-based manual containing everything from navigation charts to detailed information on the aircraft.
The New York-based carrier added that passengers with the Apple Watch will also be able to purchase items via Apple Pay when the company’s smartwatch hits the market in April.
Related: Apple Pay vs. Google Wallet
The airline’s Apple Pay service starts next week on flights between JFK and airports in San Francisco and LA, with all flights expected to be included by June.
Fliers wanting to use Google Wallet or another mobile payments system will be catered for in the future, though the carrier is yet to set a date for such services.
JetBlue’s rollout of Apple Pay is a positive development for Apple as it pushes to extend the platform’s reach. Eddy Cue, the tech company’s senior vice president of Internet software and services, is certainly confident that JetBlue’s involvement will persuade other airlines to follow suit.
“Somebody else doing it always puts pressure on the other guy,” Cue told USA Today.