JetBlue to add premium seats on some flights

JetBlue plans to add premium seats on cross-country flights to lure more travelers

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- JetBlue Airways Corp. plans to sell premium seats on some cross-country flights beginning next year in an attempt to lure more high-spending travelers.

The airline plans to sell the upgraded seats on daytime flights but not red-eyes.

JetBlue's chief commercial officer, Robin Hayes, disclosed the plans at an investor meeting Wednesday but offered few details and said nothing about possible prices. He said more information would be coming later this year.

JetBlue flies from New York to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Most larger airlines including United, Delta and American that fly nonstop, cross-country flights have first- and business-class seating. Southwest Airlines Co. does not.

Hayes said JetBlue's transcontinental service is producing weaker financial results than other flights because of the lack of premium seats and Wi-Fi Internet access. Passengers will live without Wi-Fi on a short flight, but "they do not want to fly five, six hours across the country and not feel connected," he said.

JetBlue plans to install Wi-Fi on its entire fleet, with some planes equipped with it by year-end. Two of JetBlue's contractors are testing the service.

Shares of JetBlue rose 7 cents to close at $6.94.

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