Cryptocurrencies have made a new move to further their mainstream takeover. Latvian national carrier airline airBaltic is the subject of this latest advancement. airBaltic’s customers can now pay for flight tickets with cryptocurrencies. The select digital coins on the airline’s latest pro-cryptocurrency approach are Ether (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
The Latvian National Carrier will not be Retaining the Cryptocurrency Payments
The launch of cryptocurrency payments for airBaltic is in partnership with crypto payment service provider BitPay. The chosen digital coins join a list of four stablecoins pegged to the U.S. dollar that the company already accepts and Bitcoin (BTC), which has been in its payment options since 2014. The stablecoins are GUSD, USDC, PAX, and BUSD.
Unlike electric car company Tesla, airBaltic elucidates that it will not be retaining the crypto payments in the digital coins. Customers will view prices of different services in Euros, choose to pay in crypto, and then airBaltic will proceed to convert the cryptocurrency to Euros as per the exchange rate established by BitPay.
Latvian airline airBaltic specified that crypto payments would only be available for flights booked at least five days ahead of schedule. Moreover, the crypto payments will not cover additional transaction costs attached to the flight.
The CEO of the Latvian national carrier, Martin Gauss, said the airline, in its innovative procedures, aims to improve customer experience beginning with the booking process. It is probably why the airBaltic focused the crypto payments on flight booking and exempted other transaction costs. Since it started accepting Bitcoin (BTC), around 1,000 customers have used the payment option. Although it is not a huge number, its value is the uniqueness it offers regarding uncommon payments.
Cryptocurrency Adoption Growing in the Travel Industry
The acceptance of cryptocurrencies in the travel industry is catering to the growing need for digitization in the ecosystem, especially with the current coronavirus pandemic. The growth of crypto use in travel, such as the latest Latvian airline airBaltic’s adoption, is likely to trickle down to associated industries such as hospitality. Travala travel agency, for instance, adopted cryptocurrency payments to its extensive network of supported airlines and hotels.