Image via Level

International Airlines Group (IAG) low-cost carrier Level recently introduced an onboard payment system, called Pair and Pay, which enables passengers to pay for food, drinks, Wi-Fi, amenity kits and duty-free goods by pairing their mobile devices to the seatback in-flight entertainment (IFE) system.

While some passengers may be more comfortable with handing bills, coins or their credit card to a flight attendant when it comes to payment, a Level spokesperson says, “Our audience is digital natives. More than half of visits to the Level website are on mobile phones.”

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Barcelona-based Level, which launched flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Buenos Aires and Punta Cana this summer, advertises flights from LAX to BCN for $219. It entered the highly competitive low-cost transatlantic market in June, and in the same year, Norwegian Air, Eurowings and Joon, Air France’s new airline, took action to stake their claims on those routes, too.

Level’s passengers are largely millennials flying long haul for the first time, the spokesperson says. And for them, being able to pay from their own mobile devices means having more control of their experience.

“It’s well-understood that users prefer their personal device to enter private information.” – Derek Ellis, Massive

“It’s well understood that users prefer their personal device to enter private information,” says Derek Ellis, chief creative officer and co-founder of Massive, the agency that worked with Black Swan and IAG to develop the software. The web-based, advanced ancillary revenue technology also means there’s no need for passengers to download another app. “What’s more, a passenger can securely save a credit card for simplified repeat purchases on board,” Ellis says.

In the future, passengers could even pay for movies, TV shows and music through Pair and Pay. “[This] technology is part of a universal platform that we are looking at implementing across IAG airlines in the future,” the spokesperson says.