JetBlue Airways, the low-cost New York-based carrier, will begin vying for big-spending business travelers with the introduction next spring of upper-class seats.
The airline, which until now has offered only economy seats, will install new lie-flat seats and private suites on transcontinental flights on the highly competitive routes between Los Angeles and New York and San Francisco and New York.
JetBlue is not skimping on comfort. The new seats added to Airbus A321 planes will have adjustable firmness, a massage function, a 15-inch wide-screen television and a "wake-me-for-service" indicator if the flier decides to sleep.
The private suites will include a closeable door for privacy.
The airline plans to dedicate 11 planes to serve the two transcontinental routes, with expansions along the same routes and the addition of lie-flat seats on other routes, depending on demand, the airline said.
"Transcontinental routes have had high premium fares we believe we can beat," said JetBlue Chief Executive Dave Barger. "By offering our own unique seats and enriched service elements that will include some soon-to-be-announced partnerships, we are creating a one-of-a-kind experience that will serve this market in a way only JetBlue can."
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