A partnership between the digital payment processor company, Bitnet, and UATP (Universal Air Travel Plan) will help enable bitcoin transactions for over 260 airlines. Airlines that are a part of UATP include American Airlines, British Airways, and Japan Airlines. There are already travel agencies such as Cheap Air, Webjet, and Expedia taking advantage of bitcoin as an additional payment method.
Bitnet is enabling bitcoin to be easily used on a larger merchant scale. Being able to accept bitcoin for purchasing flights is ideal for both the buyer and the merchant. Fraud is such a huge issue for airlines, and by using bitcoin it provides an instant payment method which helps to ensure payment. It also cuts out credit card fees and cross-border payment tools. It opens up a larger global market, which will also be in the airlines best interest.
Akif Khan, vice president of solutions strategy at Bitnet told CoinDesk this about the partnership:
This sends the message to others that we’re coming to help you take bitcoin payments in a way that fits in with your existing legacy infrastructure. We’re coming at the bitcoin space as payments professionals.
Although there are no airlines accepting bitcoin at the launch of this partnership, allot of interest has been expressed and we are optimistic that airlines will start to introduce it as payment in the near future. With UATP and Bitnet teaming up, it will enable airlines to easily introduce bitcoin to their customers. The benefit of no fees and the added assurance of payment will be a huge incentive for the airlines to consider bitcoin as an alternative payment method.