CheapAir.com, the online travel agency that began accepting bitcoin before it was the cool thing to do (that’s a joke, put your pitch fork away), has made an announcement this morning regarding a recently-held contest.
The company recently announced they have exceeded $1.5 million USD worth of sales paid for using bitcoin — sales which include hotel, Amtrak and airline bookings.
The company began accepting the digital currency in November of last year following a request from a so-called “intrepid customer” who had asked whether or not he could use bitcoin to pay for an airline ticket.
“If our customers have a need, we’ll go to great lengths to come up with a solution,” said Jeff Klee, CEO at CheapAir.com. “In this case, that meant finding a way to accept bitcoin payments for airline and hotel transactions that traditionally were only done with cash or credit card.”
In order to facilitate the bitcoin acceptance, the company opted to work with San Francisco-based Coinbase — a service that allows merchants to accept the digital currency and have it instantly converted to dollar, should they so choose.
And Klee is nothing short of pleased of the results.
“We appreciate how easy Coinbase made it for us to do so. In retrospect, it was one of the best decisions we’ve made for our business and our customers,” he remarked.
A free trip to London
Just in case you weren’t aware, when CheapAir announced their $1.5 million bitcoin sale milestone, they also said they would be sending someone to London for free, which includes airfare, hotel accommodations, and even a pass to the Inside Bitcoins conference.
All community members had to do what tweet to the company why they deserved the trip. On July 23rd, CheapAir reviewed the submissions and came to a decision on who would be sent to the United Kingdom.
That lucky person is Patrick Cines, a Penn State University student. Serving as the President of the Bitcoin Club at the school, he’s got major plans ahead of him, and he’s using the free trip to his advantage.
“I entered the contest because I want to help UK students set up bitcoin clubs at their schools,” he said. “I am going to use this trip to expand the College Cryptocurrency Network’s international presence. Our goal is to help promote bitcoin awareness and use on college and university campuses worldwide. Additionally, we provide a platform for students to collaborate on startups and innovations and we even provide students with a platform to apply directly to companies in the bitcoin industry for internships and full time jobs. I’m so thankful to CheapAir that I can represent!”
A big congratulations to Patrick Cines. Enjoy your trip!