More and more online merchants and companies across various industries are starting to accept bitcoin payments. LOT Polish Airlines recently announced that they will be taking in cryptocurrency transactions to pay for flights through their desktop and mobile websites.
Aside from bitcoin, LOT Polish Airlines also accepts payments through credit cards and PayPal. For now, the airline company doesn’t directly accept bitcoin payments but it exchanges the cryptocurrency for fiat using a service provider.
Bitcoin Payments and Travel
Frequent travellers seem to be accustomed to using bitcoin payments, even for hotel reservations, as this global transaction method has proven to be less costly and incurs lower exchange rate risk. This also eliminates the hassle of having to convert local to foreign currency for multiple trips.
“Many of our customers are shopping online, including flights. It is only a matter of time before virtual currency payments will become as popular as credit card use nowadays. We saw this potential,” explained Jiri Marek executive director of sales and distribution for the company. He reiterated that the airline company is open to every client need, as well as innovations in the travel industry.
Other airline companies that accept bitcoin payments are TAR Airlines in Mexico, Air Lituanica, and airBaltic. LOT Polish Airlines is the latest eastern European airline to accept bitcoin.
More airlines are expected to make this move, as Bitnet recently established a partnership with Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) to encourage bitcoin payments integration with flight bookings, although no new agreements have been struck just yet. This payment network is owned by major international airlines such as American Airways, British Airways and Lufthansa and processes around 14 billion USD in payments from corporate customers, travel agents, and retail consumers.
“It’s very much in the airlines’ interest for the consumer to pay with bitcoin given that the airline will have cheaper fees and they know that money can’t be taken away in a fraudulent transaction,” said Akif Khan, vice president of solutions strategy at Bitnet.