Latvia's airBaltic Now Accepts Bitcoin for Flight Bookings

The Latvian-based airline now offers a bitcoin payment option for basic class reservations.

Jul 21, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 10:59 a.m. UTC
CoinDesk - Unknown

airbaltic

Latvian airline airBaltic may be the first to accept payments in bitcoin, according to a Twitter post issued by the company.

Although no formal press release was made, airBaltic's website quietly began displaying the offering on 17th July. The company later acknowledged the decision when Twitter user Club Alpaca asked the company to confirm the news today.

A company representative in Riga said that the bitcoin payment option is offered for basic class fares, excluding China, Indonesia, India, Iceland, Jordan, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Russia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Other travel services companies have also begun accepting bitcoin this year, although airBaltic may be the first airline.

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson’s UK-based air carrier Virgin Atlantic has not begun accepting bitcoin, his space flight venture Virgin Galactic has. Just two months later six or seven people were confirmed for a space flight, paid for with bitcoin.

Customers question payment terms

Customers that choose to pay for their travel services in bitcoin still have to pay the €5.99 transaction fee, a decision one other Tweeter quickly challenged.

— airBaltic (@airBaltic) July 21, 2014

@Go3Team Hello! This fee is applied to cover the costs associated with processing and handling the booking, not the Bitcoin itself. — airBaltic (@airBaltic) July 21, 2014

The airline held that the fee was not for processing the bitcoin itself, but for separate handling charges.

Bitcoin gains ground in travel sector

Last month travel giant Expedia began accepting bitcoin for hotel bookings, but not for flight reservations so far. The company did not close specific numbers, but recently told CoinDesk that the response has been better than anticipated.

In November, CheapAir began accepting bitcoin for flight bookings, and it has since expanded its services to 200,000 partner hotels and railway offerings. The company recently announced it has topped $1.5m in total bitcoin sales.

CoinDesk has reached out to airBaltic for more details, but has not received an immediate response.

Latvia image via Shutterstock / Airplane image via Wikipedia

The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

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. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
San Francisco NFL Player Alex Barrett Taking His Salary in Bitcoin

The most valuable crypto stories for Thursday, May 20, 2022.

The most valuable crypto stories for Thursday, May 20, 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
Justin Sun Still Thinks Algorithmic Stablecoins Are a Good Idea

The crypto mogul also said LUNA and UST might make good "meme coins," he said on CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover.”

The crypto mogul also said LUNA and UST might make good "meme coins," he said on CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover.”

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
Former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes Sentenced to 2 Years Probation

Hayes pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) in February, and faced a sentence of up to 12 months in prison.

Hayes pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) in February, and faced a sentence of up to 12 months in prison.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
Market Wrap: Cryptos Decline Amid Choppy Trading, DeFi Tokens Underperform

Aversion to risk remains as volatility returns to stocks and cryptos.

Aversion to risk remains as volatility returns to stocks and cryptos.

CoinDesk - Unknown