JetBlue

JetBlue testing facial recognition technology for boarding in Boston

Facial recognition experiments are all the rage these days with airlines.

One of the four new self-service bag drop machines Delta Air Lines  rolled out recently at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is testing facial recognition technology that can match customers with their passport photos.

At Helsinki Airport, Finnair just concluded a several week test of face recognition technology for check-in.

And today JetBlue announced it is working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and SITA (a global provider of IT and border security solutions) to test a new system that uses biometrics and facial recognition technology to verify customers at the gate.

The program will start in June on flights from Boston’s Logan International Airport to Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport and anyone can participate without prior registration.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Passengers step up to the camera for a quick photo.
  • The camera station connects to CBP instantly match the image to passport, visa or immigration photos in the CBP database;
  • Flight details are verified.
  • The customer is notified on a screen above the camera when they are cleared to proceed to the jet bridge.

“We hope to learn how we can further reduce friction points in the airport experience, with the boarding process being one of the hardest to solve,” said Joanna Geraghty, executive vice president customer experience, JetBlue. “Self-boarding eliminates boarding pass scanning and manual passport checks. Just look into the camera and you’re on your way.”

 

Special livery and new tailfin design for JetBlue

Check out the special livery JetBlue just rolled out on an Embraer 190, one the 100-seat airplanes the carrier uses to serve key cities such as Boston, Washington, D.C. and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The “Blueprint” paint scheme is designed to showcase the “bones” of the 100-seat aircraft and according to JetBlue draws on the styles of various aviation, nautical and space exploration vehicle cut-away diagrams.

“Mechanical features like the nose gear, jet engine and yoke were among the more obvious design elements to include,” JetBlue said in a statement, “But for the onboard features, JetBlue designers drew upon their own travel experiences, crewmember tales, and the airline’s loyal customers for inspiration, even creating fictional characters to compile a list of the items they might be traveling with. Plane spotters are encouraged to give the overhead bins, under-seat storage areas, and the luggage holds a closer look to see if they can spot the nearly 50 items these “Blueprint” customers are traveling with.”

 

The special – and first – JetBlue E190 special livery debuted at Boston’s Logan International Airport and will operate on routes served by the E190 throughout the JetBlue network.

But wait, there’s more!

As part of its 17th anniversary celebrations, JetBlue also introduced a new tailfin design that will appear on multiple aircraft this year. The design is the airline’s take on the iconic NY skyline.

“The design, which depicts the image of bright lights through window panes of city high-rises, is meant to reflect JetBlue’s growth and New York’s perpetual desire to reach for the sky. Four of JetBlue’s signature colors are reflected in “Highrise” and the illuminated windows can be rearranged creating a slightly different pattern on different aircraft tailfins,” JetBlue said in a statement.

The “Highrise” pattern debuted at JFK airport and will be added to additional aircraft this year.

Wider free Wi-Fi on JetBlue

Back in December 2013, JetBlue installed its version of in-flight Wi-Fi, which it calls Fly-Fi, on one airplane and offered the service free while it worked out the kinks and worked on installing the service fleet-wide.

Today the airline is celebrating the fact that the service is now available on its entire fleet of 237 Airbus A320s, A321s and Embraer 190s.

“It’s 2017 and our customers expect to be connected everywhere, whether that be from the comfort of their sofa or 35,000 feet above it.” said Jamie Perry, vice president of marketing, JetBlue. “That’s why we’re so proud that JetBlue is now the only airline to offer free, high-speed Wi-Fi, live TV and movies for all customers on every plane.”

Fly-Fi is still offered for free – and will continue to be free, an airline spokesperson assures me – and is available gate-to-gate, along with the services listed in the infographic below.

To celebrate the milestone, on one JetBlue flight today Amazon Dots will be raffled off and every passenger will get a certificate for a free round-trip flight.

 

JetBlue’s “Mozart in the Jungle” concert at JFK T5

The third season of the highly enjoyable “Mozart in the Jungle” series begins streaming on Friday and, to mark the occasion, JetBlue (and Amazon) are presenting a three-set ‘Live From T5’ concert on Monday, Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. EST at JetBlue’s terminal at JFK Airport.

In addition to music from the series, the concert will include a selection of holiday classics and a performances by the tenor trio Il Volo and classically trained singer Jackie Evancho.

Napping pods for JetBlue’s T5 at JFK

Complimentary napping pods coming to JetBlue's T5 at JFK Airport

Airport amenity of the week?

NYC-based JetBlue Airways has teamed up with MetroNaps to bring free napping pods to JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Four MetroNaps Energy Pods were unveiled Tuesday and offer travelers complimentary 20-minute “JetNaps” on a first-come, first served basis.

MetroNaps says their pods offer “an ergonomically perfect, gravity-neutral position that optimizes circulation and encourages a reinvigorating, restful siesta” with visors for “serene seclusion” and soothing sounds piped in to block out noise.

There are even storage bins for tucking away carry-on bags and coats.

These are napping pods – not sleeping pods – so after the 20 complimentary minutes the pod will wake you up.

Not by shaking you and yelling “Hey, you – get outta’ here!” but by raising up out of a recline position and gently waking you with a combination of lights, music and vibration.

Just don’t let the bed bugs bite..