The air transportation industry is waking up to the savings and security offered by cryptocurrency. There are many different ways to book a flight with bitcoin, and there's even more than one way to fly. I thought you could use a guide.
Here are the top eight ways to get from A to B without mucking around in fiat:
1. Book through CheapAir or BTCTrip: These services interface with the airlines and handle payment, just like Expedia, Travelocity, etc.
The commission fees are next to nothing, and you don't have to place your credit card information into the hands of (yet another) breach-able corporation.
2. Fly an airline that accepts bitcoin directly, like AirBaltic: This Latvia-based airline set the stage for others to follow when they began accepting bitcoin in mid-2014. It should be noted – their coverage extends far outside Latvia.
3. Book a private jet: While the idea may seem lavish at first, private jets aren't always as spendy as you might think. In fact, bitcoin-accepting private jet companies like JetVizor routinely post single seats that need to be filled at a last minute. These last-minute rates are cheaper than their usual rates, and are sometimes even comparable with regular airline rates.
4. Use a Bitcoin-for-trade service like Brawker: If it's available for bitcoin, a buyer on Brawker will get it for you. Bitcoin buyers on Brawker are also accustomed to giving 10 % discounts on orders, so you could even save money on a ticket this way.
5. Book through a bitcoin-accepting digital assistant like Magic: If convenience is the name of your game, a digital personal assistant like Magic is another way to book a flight for bitcoin. Just text the word “Magic” to (408) 217-1721 to start the process.
6. Take a trip into outer space with Virgin Galactic: So a flight to space won't get you to Cleveland, but if you're the type who likes to aim big in life, your bitcoins will get you out of the stratosphere. Virgin Galactic has been accepting bitcoins for space trips since 2013.
7. Watch for new airlines to take up UATP on their offer: Apparently payment processing for airlines is the most centralized thing ever. It's all done through a company called UATP. According to The Economist, “UATP merchants provide 95% of global airline capacity, counting among their ranks mainstream brands such as British Airways, Lufthansa, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines.” Watch for these airlines and more to begin accepting bitcoin.
8. Give Mark “Fidel” Hale a call. He sold a startup to Intuit and used the proceeds to buy a jet with bitcoin insignia emblazoned on it. He now takes the jet to various events to spread the word of cryptocurrency. His jet may be a long shot to get you to Florida for that meeting, but maybe Hale wouldn't mind the company, after all.
While you're paying bitcoin for flights below the stratosphere (or saving up for a trip to, well, the moon), remember that Expedia takes bitcoin for hotel bookings, and AirBnB and Uber may soon accept it as well.
Do you know of any other ways to book transportation or lodging with cryptocurrency? Share below.
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