These Fun New Features Are Coming to JetBlue’s Seatback Screens

As much as we love manually trying to synchronize movie watching with our travel buddies, JetBlue now offers an easier way, among other new entertainment options.

Three passengers seated on a JetBlue flight watching a movie or TV show together on their seatback screens

Already an innovator in onboard entertainment, JetBlue is adding even more personalization this spring.

Courtesy of JetBlue

JetBlue has always been a pioneer in the in-flight entertainment space: It was the first major U.S. airline to provide free live TV and Wi-Fi on every flight, and today the New York–based airline announced plans to roll out new seatback screens called Blueprint by JetBlue, which will offer more personalized programming for fliers.

The goal, according to a JetBlue press release, is to mimic the functionalities of home streaming services. One of the ways it will do that is with a “watch party” feature. After signing into the screen with their full name and date of birth, passengers can invite up to five other fliers, seated anywhere in the plane, to sync their viewing of a movie or television show, eliminating the need to try to push the play button at exactly the same time. The program also lets viewers play and pause the screens simultaneously. It’s worth noting that passengers have to opt into screen syncing—so it’s not possible to prank someone with a Keeping Up With the Kardashians transatlantic marathon.

Blueprint by JetBlue, which will be installed over the coming weeks, will also offer personalized content recommendations based on what you watched on previous flights, much as Netflix and Hulu do. Similarly, you’ll be able to save movies and shows to watch later.

You’ll also be able to pick up where you left off—so if you didn’t finish a movie on your last leg (even if that was months ago), it will automatically resume where you paused it. The system will also save your preferred settings for volume, language, parental controls, and closed captioning, which will transfer from one flight to the next.

Other improvements, separate from the Blueprint by JetBlue innovations, include showing connecting flight information on the screens, helping customers access information about their next flights and gates before disembarking, as well as a seatback ordering feature, through which guests in Mint (JetBlue’s lie-flat business class seats and suites) can make meal selections from their seat. Note that the seatback ordering will only be available on Airbus A321LR and A321neo planes.

Along with these new viewing features, JetBlue will allow fliers to customize their welcome message on their seatback screens. Previously, fliers were greeted by their legal first name, but in the future, they’ll be able to set the moniker of their choosing—a small but potentially meaningful gesture for travelers who don’t go by their legal name.

Customers flying on their birthday will also see confetti graphics on their screen, and those of legal drinking age will receive a complimentary alcoholic beverage on their special day.

And though being a member of TrueBlue (JetBlue’s frequent flier program) isn’t required for using Blueprint by JetBlue, those who have not yet signed up for a loyalty account can do so with one click, thanks to a QR pop-up on the seatback screen that pre-populates their information based on their ticket.

It’s worth noting that Blueprint by JetBlue will only be available on jets equipped with Thales AVANT touchscreens, so it won’t be available on the Airbus A321 fleet.

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at Afar. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
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