Cryptocurrency users are generally frequent travellers, and when they travel, they want to benefit from the additional features regarding safety, privacy and readiness that come with payment methods which allow them to spend bitcoin, ethereum, dash and other virtual currencies. Airports across the world and businesses related to the travel industry have begun to enable bitcoin payment in view of its extra advantages, such as the possibility to offer exclusive discounts to owners of digital currency and the avoidance of high exchange rates.
The first trials of cryptocurrency use in airports started in Europe, Australia, United States and the UK a couple of years ago, and among the diverse implementations which have taken place we count different modalities: Bitcoin ATMs being installed, shopping and dining payments, airport parking services and the purchasing of plane tickets. Thus, the European Amsterdam Schiphol, the air travel retail stores of Brisbane in Australia, Denver International and San Francisco in the USA and airlines like Peach, airBaltic and Surf Air have –as it will be explained below- pioneered the establishment of cryptocurrency payments in airports around the globe.
Bitcoin ATMs in airports
Brisbane International and Amsterdam Schiphol were the first two airports to install Bitcoin ATMs in May 2018 and June 2018 respectively. Thanks to these ATMs, conveniently located in the departures concourses of the terminal buildings, passengers may convert remaining local currency that they won’t be able to use in their countries of origin into digital currencies (Bitcoin or Ethereum).
UPDATE: The first Bitcoin ATM of Miami International airport in Florida (United States) was installed in October 2019. You will find it in concourse G next to boarding gate 16.
Buying travel gifts, shopping, eating or booking flights with Bitcoin in Brisbane airport
If you will pass through Brisbane International anytime soon, have your cryptocurrency ready, since duty free shops inside the terminals, retail stores, airport restaurants and airline offices accept Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dash to make payments. Such innovation placed Brisbane airport on top of the world rankings for digital payment technology.
Airport parking discounts for Bitcoin users
Frequent flyers in the US and the United Kingdom will also benefit from Bitcoin payments when it comes to book airport parking spaces, yet being able to use cryptocurrency when paying for airport parking is not the only perk with companies like Top Airport Parking and SkyParkSecure, as customers using the virtual modality are likely to get a discount on the regular hourly rate.
Airlines That Accept Bitcoin and other digital currencies
Unthinkable as it might have seemed years ago, today we can book flights and pay for plane tickets with cryptocurrencies. Below, you will find the airline companies that first started to accept bitcoin and other virtual currencies in their methods of payment.
airBaltic: The flagship airline of the Baltic countries connects the airports of Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius with destinations across Europe, the Middle East and Russia, and passengers may choose to pay for their flights with Bitcoin.
Peach. This low-cost Japanese airline was the first one in the country to accept Bitcoin payments. Most flights either end or start in Kansai International airport of Osaka –its main base-, linking the city to a variety of destinations in Northern Asia.
Surf Air. The California-based private jet services company accepts three different cryptocurrencies: Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin.
The aforementioned are just some of the pioneers in the implementation of cryptocurrency payments in the travel services industry; note, however, that many major airlines like Qantas and American Airlines, international airports with high volumes of passenger traffic and even hospitality brands are increasingly adopting new payment methods that enable customers to use Bitcoin to pay for flights, hotel rooms and amenities.