Beginning next week, customers in select flights of JetBlue Airways will be able to use the Apple Pay feature on their iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones to pay for food, beverages, and several onboard amenities once the planes reach cruising altitudes.
Users will also be able to use the mobile payment system to upgrade their seats if there are any premium seats available.
JetBlue will become the first airline service to accept payments made through Apple Pay at heights of 35,000 feet. Apple is also confident that JetBlue will not be the last airline to offer the feature, as the company's adoption of Apple Pay for inflight purchases will put pressure on the other airline services, said Apple senior VP for Internet software and services Eddy Cue.
Apple Pay, which was launched back in September along with the unveiling of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, will now allow JetBlue passengers to avoid having to fumble around in their seats to take out their wallets and credit cards to make payments during the flight.
The feature will also be available through the upcoming Apple Watch, Apple's entry into the wearables market that is set to be released in April.
"The sky is definitely not the limit when it comes to mobile payments with Apple Pay," said JetBlue senior VP Marty St. George.
JetBlue is replacing their aged terminals for mobile payments for iPad Minis that feature NFC-capable cases. The tablets are currently being issued to over 3,500 inflight crew members.
For customers without access to Apple Pay, the iPads will also be able to accept payments through credit cards. The tablets, which were approved for inflight use by the Federal Aviation Administration, also includes an Inflight Service Assistant app that will help crew members identify any birthday-celebrating passengers or frequent customers.
In this year's third quarter, customers will also receive the additional feature of being allowed to use Apple Pay to make purchases through the mobile app of JetBlue.
Making purchases through Apple Pay while in a JetBlue flight is similar to how the mobile payment system is used in retail stores. Upon placing an order, the customer's iPhone is brought near the iPad Mini of the crew member, Customers will then have to press their thumb on the secure TouchID fingerprint scanner on the smartphone, which will authenticate the transaction. The receipt will then be sent through the customer's email.
Apple Pay in JetBlue flights, which does not need a Wi-Fi connection to be used, will initially launch on transcontinental trips between the JFK Airport and airports in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The feature will be added to more flights next month, with all JetBlue flights targeted to have the Apple Pay feature available by June.