Apple Pay is helping mobile payments take off after a couple of years of consumers giving the burgeoning platform a cold shoulder. American Express, MasterCard and Visa are heavily promoting the convenience of charging via Apple Pay.
Starting next week, passengers on select JetBlue Airways flights will become the first to use Apple Pay on their iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices at 35,000 feet. JetBlue passengers will be able to purchase food, drinks and some onboard amenities when the plane reaches cruising altitude. Passengers also will be able to pay for an upgrade to available premium seats.
JetBlue is the first airline to accept Apple Pay at that altitude. Other airlines will likely follow suit.
“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 the cramp seats of an airplane cabin, paying with your smartphone is a much smoother experience than grappling with a wallet and looking for a credit card. Customers often already have their mobile phone in hand or nearby when the time comes to buy a snack or amenity, according to JetBlue.
JetBlue is training more than 3,500 crew members on how to use iPad minis, as well as NFC-enabled cases, to process Apple Pay purchases.
Apple Pay on JetBlue flights will launch on select flights in mid-February (transcontinental flights from NYC to LAX or SFO). A fuller roll-out will be complete by June.