Travel Technology

On JetBlue: Let the Free Amazon Streaming Begin

JetBlue flyers who subscribe to Amazon’s Prime service can now stream tens of thousands of movies and TV shows to their laptops and mobile devices for free.

Back in May, JetBlue and Amazon announced that flyers who subscribe to Amazon’s $99-a-year Prime service would be able to stream for free tens of thousands of movies and TV shows to their laptops and mobile devices when linked to JetBlue’s complimentary Fly-Fi inflight Internet service. What they didn’t announce was a start date for the free streaming’s availability.

As it turns out, whether by design or not, the start date is this week, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday travel crush.

Amazon Prime customers can now binge-watch in flight for free, through JetBlue’s Hub entertainment portal, all the movies and shows available on the ground. And, if they’re so inclined, they may also entertain themselves with any of the many movies available for sale or rental from the Amazon Instant Video store.

Beginning in 2016, the relationship will be expanded to allow TrueBlue members to earn points for Amazon purchases.

But the big story is the free content, which includes such Amazon original productions as “Transparent” and “Bosch.”

Like JetBlue’s recent tie-up with the Wall Street Journal, this is smart win-win marketing. JetBlue will get a rich source of quality content to deliver to its customers for free; and Amazon will enjoy additional sales, from flyers opting to buy or rent videos, and benefit from another selling point in marketing its Prime service.

And for consumers, at least those who are Amazon Prime members, it’s all upside. How often does that happen?

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By Tim Winship

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.