Poland’s national airline LOT announced August 4 that airline tickets can now be purchased with bitcoin.
LOT airlines is Poland’s state-owned carrier and still perceived by some as a non-innovative post-communist era relic. Now with the acceptance of bitcoin for ticket purchases, however, the company has entered a new world of digital payments. Tickets can be purchased on the airline’s website or via its mobile app. The transaction is “convenient and fully secure,” according to a press release.
Part of the announcement reads:
“The new payment method is addressed to everybody who has a Bitcoin wallet, and is an active user of this currency when doing the shopping online. Bitcoins can be used to pay for any LOT flight on the majority of the markets where the airline sells tickets.”
However, LOT does not process bitcoins itself. When booking a ticket on its system, the passenger chooses their currency first, which is converted into bitcoin at the very last stage of the payment process via payment processor BitPay.
“We go for innovations thanks to which [the customers’] journey is even more comfortable and pleasant not only on board, but also much earlier – at the stage of buying the ticket,” explained Jiri Marek, LOT Sales and Distribution Executive Director in the press release. “Many of them do the shopping online, including plane tickets.”
LOT has also updated its website with the bitcoin logo, placed next to credit cards and other electronic payment methods. Marek continued:
“It’s just a matter of time when payments with the online currency will become as popular as using credit cards today. We notice this potential, which is why we are one of the first airlines in the world to give its passengers the possibility of paying with Bitcoins as early as today.”
LOT airlines, however, is not the first national air carrier to embrace bitcoin in the industry. Latvia’s Air Baltic was the first such carrier to make headlines back in 2014.