California-based online travel booking website CheapAir.com has announced that it has completed more than $1.5m in bitcoin sales on flights, hotels and Amtrak bookings via its platform.
With the announcement, CheapAir joins Overstock as the second traditional e-commerce player in the bitcoin ecosystem to reveal that it has completed more than $1.5m in sales. Overstock disclosed that its figures topped $1.6m in May.
Speaking to CoinDesk, CheapAir CEO Jeff Klee suggested that the numbers are a testament to the loyalty of bitcoin users who have remained committed to the company even in the face of new competition.
Klee told CoinDesk:
"One of the great things I've seen about bitcoin users is they seem to be incredibly loyal and in this industry its really tough, people tend to shop around. [...] I've seen research that shows the average person checks about 12 [travel] sites before making a purchase. Any time you can get someone to come back, it's great."
The news follows the June announcement that one of CheapAir's major rivals, bookings giant Expedia, would accept bitcoin for hotel bookings.
Klee told CoinDesk that CheapAir has been tracking the progress of Expedia and its new bitcoin offering, but that so far, it hasn't seen a sales decline, even as the number of travel options bitcoin users have has expanded.
"We were wondering if we might take a hit because of it, but we haven't," Klee said.
CheapAir further responded to the idea that bitcoin users are now making use of both Expedia and CheapAir's platforms – using CheapAir to book flights and Expedia to book hotels, saying that the company views this as a positive for both bitcoin and CheapAir.
— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) July 3, 2014
"There's value to us and every other merchant when a large merchant starts taking [bitcoin]. When Expedia starts accepting it, it does a lot for the currency to give it even more legitimacy."
Prize package offered
To mark the milestone, CheapAir announced a new giveaway that will award one lucky winner with a trip to the upcoming Inside Bitcoins London conference to be held from 15th-16th September.
To enter, contestants can tweet @CheapAir using the hashtag #LondonBTC and indicating why they want to win the free travel experience.
The company says a winner will be announced on 23rd July, and that the individual will win a $2,000 voucher to purchase a flight and hotel stay. A two-day pass to the event will also be included in the prize package.
For more details on how to enter, visit CheapAir's blog post.
Travel image via Shutterstock