Latvia’s National Airline, airBaltic, Now Accepts Bitcoins
- Latvian air carrier airBaltic now accepts bitcoin
- Flies to 60 destinations
- Will charge €5.99 transaction fee
Latvia’s national airline, airBaltic, is becoming one of the latest companies around the world to embrace digital currency. The airline — established in 1995 — confirmed the news via Twitter Monday morning in response to a public inquiry.
The low-cost Latvian flag carrier has a fleet size 25 aircraft and flies to approximately 60 destinations, and will gladly take your bits, provided you’re able and willing to cough up €5.99 to pay off a transaction fee.
Users on Twitter were quick to fire back, with one user saying, “Transaction fee? [...], you might be a little confused on how bitcoin works.”
airBaltic didn’t waste any time responding, adding that the reason the transaction fee exists “is applied to cover the costs associates with processing and handling the booking,” and not processing the bitcoin payment itself.
The company is the first known airline to accept digital currency payments, though bitcoin users looking to book airfare with their bits do have some options.
CheapAir.com, for example, allows users to spend their bitcoins to buy airline tickets. Soon, Expedia.com could also be offering users the opportunity to pay for their tickets with bitcoin (as of this time, they are only allowing for hotel bookings as a trial of sorts).
It’s certainly a pleasant step forward, but time will tell whether or not airBaltic’s competitors follow suit.