Alaska Airlines to launch Apple Pay flights to select flights

If you want to buy inflight drinks or snacks on Alaska Airlines, you will no longer need your physical credit card.

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 provides payment processing software.

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

Apple Pay is easy to use on an Alaska flight – passengers just need to keep their phone or Apple Watch up to the flight attendant’s iPhone and their payment will be processed.

The ability to use Apple Pay should make things easier for those shopping inflight. Typically, if travelers want to buy a drink or snack, they typically have to do so through the carrier’s app or remove a credit card from their wallet, which can feel like an inconvenience in a tight flight with your laptop setup and other items that can make your card cumbersome. And at United Airlines, carriers require customers to pay for inflight purchases through the carrier’s app — meaning passengers must have a credit card registered within the app itself.

Alaska is one of several U.S. carriers that have integrated Apple Pay into their payment methods. Airlines such as American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines already have Apple Pay in their respective apps to book tickets or make 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 adding Apple Pay was part of the carrier’s initiative to improve its customer experience.

“We are constantly innovating to give our guests the most comfortable and caring experience,” Jain said in a statement.

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