California-based airfare and hotel booking provider CheapAir.com has announced it is now accepting bitcoin for Amtrak railway reservations completed on its platform.
Speaking to CoinDesk, CEO Jeff Klee suggested that this measured rollout of bitcoin payments was not part of the company's strategy, though he acknowledged it has helped boost awareness of the company and its offerings within the digital currency community.
Adding the payment option
Though CheapAir has been accepting bitcoin for some time, Klee said adding it as a payment option to its Amtrak offerings required some work.
He explained the issues the company had to account for during the process, given that its suppliers are not yet accepting the currency:
The CEO also noted that the move was made not because of customer demand, but as a way to round out the company's service.
He stated: “We thought it would be a good idea, just because there are a lot of routes where people don't realize how viable [trains are] as an alternative or just never thought that train results would be included in a predominantly airfare site."
Klee also elaborated on the success of CheapAir's other bitcoin initiatives, noting that while the platform has not seen a significant spike in bitcoin sales, revenue via this payment stream has not declined.
Klee's comments suggest that he has been paying particular attention to the lack of expansion in bitcoin sales, however:
However, Klee did indicate that his company will continue to support the digital currency ecosystem. He added: "Ever since we started with bitcoin on flights, anything new we add, we're trying to include bitcoin wherever possible."
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.