JetBlue Takes Apple Pay to the Skies

Apple Pay jetblue

Starting next week passengers of transcontinental flights between JFK and airports in San Francisco and Los Angeles will be able to use their iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to pay for food, drinks and even to upgrade to premium seats, USA Today reports.

The carrier will also ditch its old mobile payment terminals for NFC-capable iPad minis. Jet Blue will issue more than 3,500 such iPads with the blessing of the Federal Aviation Administration. The next step will be accepting payments via Apple Watch when it becomes available in April.

Jet Blue’s mobile point of sale (POS) system won’t be limited to Apple Pay, though: it will accept all major credit and debit cards, and has plans to accept Google Wallet as well.

At the time of launch, Apple Pay will be limited to the aforementioned flights, but additional ones will be added in March. By June all JetBlue flights will be outfitted with the upgraded NFC-enabled iPad mini mPOS terminals.

This is a major step for Apple Pay, which launched in October. Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP for Internet software and services, commented:

“Somebody else doing it always puts pressure on the other guy. […] Most people would prefer not to carry cash or worry about cash. There’s a lot of opportunity there.”

“In our world, we really do want to replace the wallet at some point in time, and Apple Pay is the start of that,” Cue says.

Apple Pay is off to a great start in the US, and the company is making preparations to extend its mobile payment platform to other countries as well. China is next on the list, according to iOS 8.3 beta. Still no word about Apple Pay in Canada.

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