Passengers on select JetBlue flights will be able to purchase food and drinks using their iPhone, USA Today reports. Customers will also reportedly be able to use the payment service to upgrade to any open premium seat once the flight has started.
Payments will be handled by airline employees using iPad minis with NFC-equipped cases. Over 3,500 of these devices have been issued to JetBlue staff. The cases will also accept regular credit cards, and will serve as a full replacement for the existing in-flight payment terminals.
Apple internet services chief Eddy Cue told USA Today that the move was likely to cause other airlines to follow suit:
“Somebody else doing it always puts pressure on the other guy,” says Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president for Internet software and services.
When the Apple Watch launches in April, users will be able to take advantage of in-flight Apple Pay using that device and certain older iPhone models as well.
Aside from taking payments, the new iPads being issued to flight staff will include an app designed for JetBlue employees to locate frequent fliers or those who are celebrating a birthday, as well as the complete in-flight manual.
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