Alaska Airlines to introduce inflight Apple Pay to select flights

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You’ll no longer need your physical credit card if you want to buy an inflight beverage or snack on Alaska Airlines.

The Seattle-based carrier plans to roll out Apple Pay as one of its inflight payment methods as part of a partnership with Apple and Stripe, a company that primarily offers payment processing software.

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For now, Apple Pay will be available only on select flights, but Alaska said it would soon be available across the carrier’s fleet.

Using Apple Pay on an Alaska flight is easy — passengers just need to hold up their phones or Apple Watches up to a flight attendant’s iPhone, and their payment will be processed.

The ability to use Apple Pay should make things easier for those making inflight purchases. Typically, if passengers want to purchase a beverage or snack, they normally have to do it through the carrier’s app or take out a credit card from their wallets, which can feel like an inconvenience on a cramped flight, with your laptop setup and other items that might make fetching your card cumbersome. And at United Airlines, the carrier requires customers to pay for inflight purchases via the carrier’s app — which means flyers must have a credit card registered within the app itself.

Alaska is one of many U.S. carriers that has integrated Apple Pay into its payment methods. Carriers like American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines already have Apple Pay in their respective apps for booking tickets or making inflight purchases. However, JetBlue has been ahead of the curve — it was the first airline to accept Apple Pay for inflight purchases in 2015.

Charu Jain, Alaska’s vice president of innovation and merchandising, said the addition of Apple Pay was part of the carrier’s initiative to improve its customer experience.

“We’re constantly innovating to give our guests the most seamless and caring experience possible,” Jain said in a statement.

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