Apple Pay Takes Off on JetBlue Airlines

jetblue crewPassengers flying on select JetBlue flights from next week will be able to use Apple Pay to purchase food, drinks and other onboard amenities, and even make use of the mobile wallet solution to upgrade to premium seats.

JetBlue is the first airline to integrate Apple Pay into its onboard systems, but is unlikely to be the last, as mobile payments become increasingly common as a method of payment.

According to USA Today, JetBlue is swapping existing mobile payment terminals for iPad minis with NFC-capable cases, which are being issued to over 3,500 inflight crew members.

The new iPads, which can also accept traditional credit and debit cards, have been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, and will also enable staff to access information such as frequent fliers or passengers celebrating birthdays, as well as containing the entire inflight manual.

Apple Pay will first appear on transcontinental flights between JFK and airports in Los Angeles and San Francisco, with additional flights added in March, and all JetBlue flights set to accept Apple Pay by June. When the Apple Watch launches in April, passengers will even be able to pay using the wearable device.

JetBlue plans to introduce functionality for other mobile payment systems such as Google Wallet “down the road”, but Apple being the first mobile wallet in the skies is another blow struck in the growing battle between different systems.