JetBlue becomes first airline to accept Apple Pay for in-flight purchases


This article first appeared on Future Travel Experience

JetBlue has become the first airline to accept payments via Apple Pay for onboard purchases, including certain food and beverage products and ‘Even More Space’ seat upgrades. Passengers with an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or an Apple Watch – which will be launched in the US shortly – will be able to make use of Apple Pay, which offers secure, Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled contactless payment using an Apple device.

Commenting on the development, Marty St George, SVP Commercial at JetBlue said the carrier has decided to embrace Apple Pay in response to the fact that “customers want an easy and fast transaction when they decide to make an on-board purchase so that they can get back to enjoying their flight.”

Apple Pay began appearing on select JetBlue transcontinental flights from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco in mid-February and will be available on all JetBlue services by June 2015. Later this year, Apple Pay will also be added to JetBlue’s app.

To enable Apple Pay onboard, JetBlue has equipped more than 3,500 flight attendants with iPad minis and NFC-enabled cases. The iPad minis will also be loaded with the carrier’s Inflight Service Assistant app, which provides access to customer manifest and real-time flight data, and also makes its easier for crew to identify TrueBlue and Mosaic loyalty members.

“JetBlue has always stood out because our crewmembers care about our customers,” said Joanna Geraghty, Executive Vice President, Customer Experience, JetBlue. “By giving crewmembers thoughtful ways to use technology, we can support an even more personalised onboard experience with a perfect partnership of high tech and high touch.”

Video of how paying using Apple Pay on JetBlue flights works here.

JetBlue turns a flight ticket into a ‘chain letter of human goodness’

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This case appears in the November 2014 edition of the Airline Marketing Benchmark, a monthly report by and Simpliflying that identifies the latest innovative marketing capaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Learn more »

JetBlue is putting its own twist on the concept of “paying it forward,” in a social media-driven initiative called “Fly it Forward” (video here). The program sends one ticket on a never-ending trip around the JetBlue network, aiming to enable people to fulfill a dream or make a meaningful humanitarian impact on the world.

The airline started the long-term campaign by awarding one free JetBlue ticket to several deserving individuals involved in humanitarian efforts, then let that person select another deserving recipient of a free ticket, and so on and so on. Or as the Creativity Online website nicely summarizes the generous concept: “JetBlue is turning an airline ticket into a chain letter of human goodness.”

The first Fly It Forward ticket recipients, shown in this heartwarming video (1.2 million views of YouTube so far), include Tameka Lawson, who represented her Chicago non-profit I-Grow at a UN conference in New York, and Louis Elneus, whose organization Haiti Lumiere helped build the first public library in his home country of Haiti.

These initial recipients were found and picked by JetBlue employees, and now the airline is asking people to submit their own nominations for the next people to get the ticket, through the Fly It Forward microsite and social channels using the hashtag #FlyitForward.

JetBlue’s new transcontinental A321s to feature private suites and a ‘snack station’

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By Jonny Clark, TheDesignAir

In order to attract premium yields from business travelers, competition on transcontinental routes between New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco is fierce with all major national carriers on the route trying to find their point of difference and fight for the heavy traffic between the three hubs.

New York-based JetBlue is also joining this transcontinental ‘arms race’ with dedicated sub-fleet of 11 brand new A321s. After a sneak peek of the airline’s new A321 cabin a few weeks back when they launched a first video, the airline has shared more details of its new transcontinental premium product, called Mint.

Starting at a mind-bending USD499 one way, JetBlue has managed to surpass our expectations yet again with the fare being yet another reason to fly with the airline. Said JetBlue Chief Executive Dave Barger in a statement: “Mint is stylish service minus all of the stuffiness often associated with the traditional front-of-the-cabin experience. JetBlue is truly all about serving the underserved, the customer who wants to enjoy first-rate service at an exceptional and affordable fare.”

The Mint seat
JetBlue has invested in both Business and Economy, with the coach section featuring slim-line seats, larger touch-screen TVs, as well as an extra legroom section. The big showpiece though is the ‘Mint’ Business Class product, a first for what is fundamentally a low-cost carrier. The Mint cabin features 16 fully lie-flat beds up to 6′ 8″ (203cm) long with rows 1 and 3 featuring a 2 x 2 seating and rows 2 and 4 having a more private 1 x 1 seating configuration with closing doors.

The private sliding door idea is a nice little touch, especially on the single solitary seats as it makes the 2nd and 4th rows much more appealing and sort after as a solitary traveller, although we feel the sliding doors are more a sales gimmick that practical elements a traveller really actually requires on a 5-6 hour flight.
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JetBlue unveils new ‘transcontinental’ A321 interior featuring private suites

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By Jonny Clark, TheDesignAir

JetBlue, New York’s ‘homegrown airline’ has released on their video channel a sneak peek of what we can expect on their new fleet of A321′s coming out in 2014, which will be flying the transcontinental East Coast – West Coast flights, competing with the likes of American, United, Delta and Virgin America who have all lifted the quality of product for the 5 to 6 hour trek.

The airline has invested in both business and economy, featuring slim-line seats, with larger touch-screen TVs, and still maintaining their extra legroom seating. Whilst this is just an artists impression (more images here), the detail seems fairly accurate, and we can see the headrests will be fairly slim too. Perhaps lowering the comfort of their seats, they can up-sell their amenity packages of pillows and blankets.

The big showpiece here though is the new Business Class product. A first for what is fundamentally a low-cost carrier. 16 private suites in 4 rows, rows 1 and 3 featuring a 2 x 2 seating and rows 2 and 4 having a more private 1 x 1 seating configuration. The Thomson Vantage full flat seats are a similar product to that seen on international carriers such as Delta and Brussels Airlines.

The private sliding door idea is a nice little touch, especially on the single solitary seats, however, on the dual seats, you lose out on this feature. Making the 2nd and 4th rows much more appealing and sort after as a solitary traveller. We feel the sliding doors are more a sales gimmick that practical elements a traveller really actually requires on a 5-6 hour flight. The inconsistency of the product in business class may also work against the carrier, as someone who flies in the private suite and then is only offered a regular business class seat may decide to decline the purchase and move to a differing carrier. Only time will tell…

JetBlue’s offers 2012 free seats to Republican voters to fly out of the USA

By Raymond Kollau,

Following Virgin America’s initiative to allow passengers to register for the upcoming US presidential election while up in the air, rival ‘no-frills chic’ airline JetBlue has launched a new campaign that is based on the outcome of the US election.

The new campaign, created with Boston marketing agency Mullen, is titled ‘Election Protection’ and plays into Americans’ proclaimed desires to “leave the country” if the presidential candidate they support does not win. For this, JetBlue has pledged to give out 2012 free seats (1006 roundtrip flights) to international JetBlue destination of choice for participants whose candidate-of-choice does not win the election.

The ‘Election Protection’ website, open for participation through November 5 (one day before the election) prompts visitors to watch a video and subsequently choose the emblem of the party they support in the elections, as well as their international JetBlue destination of choice should the election results not be in their favor.

The ‘Election Protection’ website also offers a real-time ‘heat map’ of customers’ preferred destinations, as well as how each candidate is doing by state. All of those who submit their candidate choices through the website are automatically entered into the contest and winners will be drawn at random on November 7.

“We’ve all heard it said before: if my candidate does not win, I’m leaving the country,” said Marty St. George, senior vice president marketing and commercial strategy for JetBlue. “Fun is one of our five founding values, and in this spirit we decided to give people a chance to recover from the political noise and follow through on their claim to skip town if their candidate comes up short.” Read full article

Brands team up with airports and airlines to let travelers try their products

Faced with ever more experienced consumers, who routinely ignore the commercials and ads thrown at them, brands have to find new ways to break through the advertising clutter to reach and engage consumers. Coined by, ‘tryvertising’ can be thought of as “product placement in the real world, whereby brands integrate their goods and services into daily life in a relevant way, so that consumers can make up their minds based on their experience, not on the message.” Airlines and airports are popular settings for tryvertising campaigns, which can also be an additional source of revenue for them or a way to improve service.  

Marriott Courtyard Airport Lobbies
On September 8, the Marriott Courtyard hotel chain showed off its new ‘Refreshing Business’ lobby concept in New York’s Grand Central Station by installing a replica of the lobby in the station’s VanderBildt Hall. Train passengers could use the hotel lobby to relax while they waited for their train. From September 15 through November 14, 2010, Courtyard is also bringing its new lobby to life with the installation of temporary Courtyard Airport Lobbies in three of the busiest airports in the U.S. — Chicago O’Hare, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson and Denver International. Each of the lobby zones will feature some of the new furnishings and amenities found in the real Courtyard lobbies. Travelers can relax in the new lobby zone and also receive a complimentary Courtyard luggage tag. Read full article

JetBlue, Sun Country Air offer all-you-can-fly passes

U.S low-cost airlines JetBlue and Sun Country Airlines are issuing all-you-can-fly passes to drum up sales during the traditionally sluggish travel period between the summer vacation and winter holiday seasons. JetBlue is bringing back its ‘All-You-Can-Jet’ pass that allows customers to travel to an unlimited number of cities in JetBlue’s network over a one-month period. The USD699 pass is valid seven days a week for flights between September 7 and October 6, 2010. Travelers can also choose a USD499 pass that excludes travel on Fridays and Sundays. Every available seat on every flight is available with no blackout dates, although there is a limited number of All You Can Jet (AYCJ) passes available. Last year, the first time JetBlue offered the AYCJ passes, they sold out in two days. (Update: this year they sold out in 2.5 days).

JetBlue’s first AYCJ campaign brought huge exposure to the airline, as customers documented their travels on blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Travelers used the pass for tours of everything from the nation’s sports stadiums and music meccas to a 30-day nationwide job search or to raise money for charity. Says Robin Hayes, chief commercial officer for JetBlue Airways,  “Last year, our AYCJ Pass inspired customers across our network to set out for more face time with important clients, visit 30 cities in 30 days or to live inside airport terminals across the country. We look forward to seeing how this year’s community of Jetters use the pass.”
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Free coffee and a shoe shine at the airport to help travelers chase the Monday-morning blues away

Arriving at the airport at 7 a.m on an early Monday morning is hardly anyone’s favourite way to start another working week. To lighten up their Monday mornings and chase the ‘Monday blues’ away, Singapore Changi Airport offered passengers a free cup of freshly brewed Starbucks coffee from August 2009 to February 2010. The complimentary ‘Java Mondays with Changi’ treat was distributed by Starbucks staff carrying dispensers on Monday mornings from 6.30 a.m to 7.30 a.m.

Showing some empathy as well is Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine, which is currently offering travelers passing through JetBlue’s T5 terminal at New York JFK a complimentary magazine and shoe shine on Monday mornings to start the week on a good foot. Operated by ‘A Shine & Co.’ travelers who have their shoes shined are seated in an iconic ‘Egg’ chair. With the offer Bloomberg is promoting the newly renamed and redesigned BusinessWeek magazine, which it has acquired recently. The free shoe shine is available Monday mornings between 7 and 11 a.m from April 26 to May 17, 2010.
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JetBlue asks the public to do ‘one thing that is green’

Launched as an environmental awareness event in the United States in 1970, Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22 as the birth of the environmental movement. Today, mainly in the U.S, Earth Day is a day to think about the actions people can take to help protect the environment.

In this spirit, JetBlue has kicked off its ‘One Thing That’s Green’ campaign on Earth Day. For the second year, the airline asks customers, crewmembers and communities across its network to join together in pledging to do ‘one thing that is green’ to protect the environment. The carrier says that just by making small changes to daily habits, such as turning off the water when brushing ones teeth, everyone can help make the world a greener place. This year, JetBlue’s own One Thing That’s Green pledge is a donation of one tree to for each of its 12,000 crewmembers to further offset carbon emissions.
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Airport vehicles go green

Many airlines and airports already try to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from operations on the ground where possible. JetBlue, Air France-KLM and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport are taking another step by introducing non-CO2 emitting ground vehicles.

JetBlue says it has just purchased a new environmentally-friendly utility truck for use by its technical operations team at New York’s JFK airport. The MILES electric work truck’s maximum speed is 25 miles an hour and travels 50-60 miles (80-95 km) on a charge. JetBlue says it plans to purchase additional vehicles to reduce its carbon footprint and consumption of fuel.
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JetBlue creates a buzz with Twitter-driven ticket giveaway

Following the success of its Twitter ticket giveaway in New York City in March (2010), JetBlue just held a similar event in Boston. Celebrating its 10th anniversary the carrier tweeted several simple assingments during the day, together with the physical location of the JetBlue team somewhere in the city. People following the airline on Twitter that were first to show up after each tweet were given a free ticket.

In New York JetBlue asked people to bring them birthday cards on Broadway and Dey Street in the Financial District. After announcing it on Twitter, the airline said the first person arrived less than three minutes after the tweet. For round two, it asked people to wear something blue and bring an airplane-related item to University Place and 11th Street near Union Square. In Boston people had to bring a photo of 10 standard office supplies amongst other assignments. This video nicely captures the spirit on the street. In total JetBlue gave away 1,000 free tickets in New York and 600 in Boston.
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JetBlue opens temporary ‘Flyer’s Collection’ store in NYC

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Picture courtesy of Paolo Mello

JetBlue has opened a temporary holiday ‘pop-up store’ in New York City’s trendy Meatpacking District, as part of its new  tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign: ‘Flyer’s Collection’. Continuing the holiday 2009 trend of pop-up shops that don’t sell anything (see eBay and Wired), the storefront at 48 9th Avenue features physical samples of the ‘Flyer’s Collection’ products: gimmick items that JetBlue says travellers need to help cope with flying on other airlines. The products on display include ‘leather in a jar’ (to compensate for uncomfortable cloth seats on other carriers), a ‘knee-jockey apparatus’ (to make up for the lack of legroom), ‘depth goggles’ (to make the seat in front seem farther away), and the ‘Yumbro robot’ (to dispense free snacks). Other fun products are a ‘seatback siren’ (to alert those behind you when you plan to recline), a ‘luggage suit’ (to avoid paying baggage fees), and ‘Sounds of Jetblue’ cd’s.

The JetBlue pop-up store is basically a 3D version of the airline’s advertising campaign. You can’t actually go in the store, and it has got a small text down at the corner of the window, that says: “The products shown are fictional and not offered for sale.” Jetblue has also printed a six-page glossy fake holiday catalogue, and distributed 35,000 of them to mostly business travellers via a network of 2,300 New York town car transportation companies, which mostly go to and from the city’s airports. The catalogue is also accessible on JetBlue’s Facebook  page. When clicking on the ‘buy now’ button, the page displays a message saying it’s out of stock due to high demand and suggests the option of going to instead to experience the real thing.