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JetBlue First to let you Shop in the Sky through Apple Pay

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. JetBlue is the first airline to accept Apple Pay at 35,000 feet. It almost certainly won’t be the last. “Somebody else doing it always puts pressure on the other guy,” says Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president for Internet software and services. “The sky is definitely not the limit when it comes to mobile payments with Apple Pay,” said Marty St George, senior vice president, com

Jet Blue in an official press release stated that:

Apple Pay gives customers an easy and secure way to pay for onboard purchases of premium offerings. Customers often already have their mobile phone in hand or nearby when the time comes to buy a snack or amenity. Those with an iPhone® 6, iPhone 6 Plus and soon Apple Watch™ can use Apple Pay to purchase premium offerings such as EatUp snack boxes and à la carte food options from the EatUp Café, premium beverages, onboard amenities and Even More Space seating.


The airline will start making the option available to passengers flying between JFK to/from San Francisco and Los Angeles airports next week; more routes will follow in March until it reaches all the company’s planes by June. In addition, JetBlue will accept payments made via the Apple Watch once the device starts shipping in April, so you don’t even have to take out your phone.

The carrier is swapping older mobile payment terminals for specially outfitted iPad Minis with NFC-capable cases that are being issued to more than 3,500 inflight crewmembers. The Federal Aviation Administration had to approve the new iPads before they could be used onboard. JetBlue’s crew is getting video training on the new system. The iPads include an Inflight Service Assistant app with information that helps flight attendants identify frequent fliers or passengers with a birthday. With the FAA’s blessing, the iPads will include the entire inflight manual.

Apple Pay takes to the skies via JetBlue
Apple Pay will help Jet Blue customers to buy food and services more conveniently


The process works similarly to the way you might buy stuff in stores using Apple Pay. Wi-Fi is not required to use Apple Pay in the air, though wireless Internet is available on the plane. After ordering something, You’ve to raise your iPhone right up next to a flight attendant’s iPad while pressing your thumb against the secure TouchID fingerprint button on the phone. The transaction will immediately occur. You don’t get a paper receipt — one will be e-mailed.

Every time you hand over your credit or debit card to pay, your card number and identity are visible. With Apple Pay, instead of using your actual credit and debit card numbers when you add your card, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted, and securely stored in the Secure Element, a dedicated chip in iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. These numbers are never stored on Apple servers. And when you make a purchase, the Device Account Number, along with a transaction-specific dynamic security code, is used to process your payment. So your actual credit or debit card numbers are never shared by Apple with merchants or transmitted with payment.

Apple Pay is supported by 750 banks and Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Launched in September, it already accounts for two out of every three dollars spent via contact-less payments for the three major credit cards. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced on October 27, 2014, that more than 1 million credit cards have been registered on Apple Pay in the first 3 days of its availability. It’s accepted by a few dozen US merchants including McDonald’s, Walgreens, and Whole Foods and it recently became usable at some 200,000 vending machines thanks to a deal with USA Technologies.


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