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JetBlue to Become First Airline to Accept Apple Pay In-Flight
Starting next week, passengers on select JetBlue Airways flights can use Apple Pay on their iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets to buy food, drinks and certain onboard amenities when the plane reaches cruising altitude. You'll be able to upgrade to available premium seats, too.Eddy Cue, Apple's VP for Internet software and services, told USA Today that "somebody else doing it always puts pressure on the other guy" and that other airlines could follow suit.
JetBlue's flight attendants will have iPad minis outfitted with a special case that will accept both credit cards and Apple Pay. Starting next week, only intercontinental flights from JFK to Los Angeles and San Francisco will accept Apple Pay, with additional flights in March and plans for all JetBlue flights to accept the payment service in June. Like iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the upcoming Apple Watch will also work with the system.
Cue notes that expanding Apple Pay into areas like travel is important. "Most people would prefer not to carry cash or worry about cash. There's a lot of opportunity there," Cue told USA Today. Apple would like to expand to subways and public transportation, but Cue said working with local governments and gaining funding for those initiatives moves slower than they would like. He says the eventual plan is to completely replace the wallet, and that Apple Pay is only the start.
Apple has continued to work with third parties to expand Apple Pay's reach, most recently having ChowNow update nearly 700 food and restaurant apps with the payment service.