Delta first U.S. airline to accept Apple Pay for tickets

Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines has become the first U.S.-based airline to enable its customers to pay for flights using Apple Pay.

Customers using the latest version of the Fly Delta app on their iPhones will be able to use the payment system, which Apple says is safer than using credit cards.

“Our Fly Delta app has come a long way since it was first introduced in 2010. “More than 18 million customers have now downloaded the Fly Delta app and we are excited to be the first U.S.-based airline to allow our customers to book and pay for their tickets with Apple Pay,” Rhonda Crawford, the airline’s VP of eCommerce said in a statement announcing the new feature.

Delta (NYSE:DAL) said using Apple Pay will “mak[e] the booking process even faster and easier for iPhone users” without sacrificing security or privacy. When customers add a credit or debit card to Apple Pay, the card numbers are not stored on the device or on Apple servers and each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique dynamic security code. More details about Apple Pay, how it works and its security features are available here.

While Delta is the first airline to accept the payment method for tickets, it is not the first airline to accept Apple Pay in other areas. New York-based JetBlue (NYSE:JBLU) announced on Feb. 10 that it had begun accepting Apple Pay for in-flight purchases including food, beverages and even seat upgrades on select flights from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO). A system-wide roll-out was expected to be complete by June. In addition to in-flight purchases, JetBlue customers will be able to use Apple Pay to complete purchases on the JetBlue app starting later this year, the airline said in February.

Apple (NYSE:AAPL) debuted Apple Pay in Oct. 2014 as a feature on its new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. While many businesses were quick to accept the payment method, airlines have been slower to warm up to the technology.

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