JetBlue recently announced that by the end of the year, it will offer new content to all of its passengers to make their flights more entertaining. This means that JetBlue business flyers will have more options for TV shows and movies, but it also means that they can take advantage of their time spent traveling to learn something new.
One of the content providers that JetBlue partnered with is Coursera, an online platform that offers free college courses. JetBlue passengers will now have access to 10 e-learning videos from courses including Intro to Marketing, from Wharton, and a class from the World Bank on climate change. The other classes offered include: Introduction to Guitar, from Berklee College of Music; Astrotech: The Science and Technology Behind Astronomical Discovery, from University of Edinburgh; Dino101: Dinosaur Paleobiology, from University of Alberta; and Epidemics: The Dynamics of Infectious Diseases, from Penn State University.
For business travelers that spend hours a week flying to and from clients, this could turn that chunk of time into a productive learning experience. And though classes like Intro to Marketing would be directly relevant to a business traveler, that's not to say that he or she wouldn't benefit from learning about climate change as well.
"If you're a business traveler and you're flying, Intro to Marketing is exactly the type of content you'd want to have access to, and you have time to watch it while you're on the plane," says Julia Stiglitz, head of business development and international growth at Coursera. "I think people want to use that time productively, and this is a way that they can do so."
And it's not just Coursera that will be offering educational content on JetBlue flights. HarperCollins is offering excerpts from 20 of its books. That means that you can get a taste for a book before deciding if you want to buy it and read the whole thing. Again, a great use of that travel time.
Starting in the first quarter of 2015, JetBlue passengers will also have access to content from The Wall Street Journal and PBS.
"I just flew back from the East Coast yesterday, and the video playing was Dolphin Tale 2 or some video like that, and what a great time to be able to learn something when you actually do have time and you can watch videos and learn something new," Stiglitz says. "If I think about my flight, I really wish there had been this sort of option, because I definitely would have much rather watched these courses than that video."