Apple SVP Eddy Cue notes that JetBlue's adoption of Apple Pay could put pressure on other airlines to follow suit. "Somebody else doing it always puts pressure on the other guy," says Cue.
JetBlue is swapping older payment terminals with specially outfitted iPad minis that feature NFC capable cases. The iPad minis will be issued to over 3,500 inflight crew members. They've already been approved by the FAA. The iPads can also be used to swipe credit cards for customers without Apple Pay.
In addition, the iPad features an Inflight Service Assistant app that helps attendants identify frequent fliers or passengers with a birthday. Eventually, if approved by the FAA, the iPads will replace the entire inflight manual.
"The sky is definitely not the limit when it comes to mobile payments with Apple Pay," says Marty St. George, a senior vice president at JetBlue.
"Most people would prefer not to carry cash or worry about cash. There's a lot of opportunity there," says Cue. It'll take awhile before Apple Pay makes huge headway with subways and public transit systems. They're all different, you're dealing with local governments, and funding is required, Cue says. "Those things tend to move slower than you and I would like. But it's clear you'll see more and more of those, but on a very regional basis."
"In our world, we really do want to replace the wallet at some point in time, and Apple Pay is the start of that," says Cue.