iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners flying JetBlue in the near future will be able to pay for in-flight amenities with Apple Pay. Whether it's buying snacks, watching onboard entertainment, or even upgrading to first class, JetBlue will accept Apple's payment system -- the first airline to do so.
USA Today noted that in order to make Apple Pay possible, the company had to swap out old mobile payment terminals with new iPad minis in NFC-capable cases. The airline is issuing almost 3,500 of those devices to inflight crew members, all of which were approved for inflight use by the Federal Aviation Administration. Those iPad minis also have conventional card readers for passengers who don't yet have the latest in smartphone technology. Here's USA Today's Ed Baig talking about Apple Pay on JetBlue:
Once the Apple Watch is released, Apple Pay support will extend to the smartwatches as well. It's expected that all JetBlue flights will be Apple Pay-friendly by June.
Our take on the news:
This is great news for anyone who ever tired to produce a wallet or purse while seated in a cramped airplane. Many passengers have iPhones in hand during a flight, and now they can just touch the device to the flight attendant's iPad mini in order to pay.
United Airlines recently reported its intention to supply every flight attendant -- over 23,000 in total -- with an iPhone 6 Plus; we can only hope that the Chicago-based airline will equip those to support Apple Pay as well.
While Apple currently has the lion's share of contactless payments, the company is expected to start seeing some serious competition from the likes of Google and Samsung soon.