Travel booking platform Expedia has stopped accepting bitcoin (BTC). A company representative confirmed the policy change, while stating that various payment options are being continuously evaluated without elaborating on the details. Expedia has been supporting bitcoin payments since 2014.
Expedia Confirms Suspension of BTC Payment Option
Expedia.com, one of the world’s largest travel sites offering booking services for flights, hotels, and car rentals, is currently not accepting bitcoin (BTC). This week, the news was shared on Reddit by traveling bitcoiners who expressed their disappointment with the absence of the cryptocurrency among the payment options. Bitcoin payments have been available on Expedia for years.
Responding to a request for more details from Nathalie Stucky of news.Bitcoin.com, a company representative confirmed the reports via email. Acknowledging the grievances of cryptocurrency users, Christie Hudson, Sr. Communications Manager at Expedia – North America, explained:
I can confirm that as of May 10, 2018, Expedia no longer supports Bitcoin as a payment method. Currently, we do not feel that we are able to offer the best experience for those using Bitcoin, but will continue to evaluate various options in order to offer travelers flexible payment solutions.
According to the information provided by Reddit user bowiestar, the bitcoin payments have been suspended since June 10. Bowiestar is quoting the travel agency’s customer support service.
No official announcement has been published on Expedia’s website, at least not in the Newsroom section. At the same time, the Terms & Conditions page for the bitcoin payment option is still accessible.
Attempts to book a flight from the EU return credit card thumbnails beneath the “How would you like to pay?” question at checkout.
Buying a Ticket, Booking a Hotel with Bitcoin
Expedia started accepting bitcoin exactly four years ago. “Offering travelers another way to book online, customers can now shop from the world-class inventory of a vast array of hotels available on Expedia.com, and for the first time ever beginning today, easily pay for their hotel accommodations using bitcoin,” stated the official announcement published on June 11, 2014.
The crypto payment option was offered through a partnership with the US-based crypto exchange and wallet provider Coinbase. In order to complete the booking process, customers were redirected to Coinbase’s website where they were able to see the total at an exchange rate set by the trading platform. Some comments in the forums suggest that Expedia might have stopped the bitcoin payments due to Coinbase’s decision to discontinue custodial services for merchants.
There are a number of alternatives that crypto enthusiasts can turn to for their bitcoin-paid travel and accommodation. Cheapair.com has been considering working with Bitpay to process bitcoin payments, as news.Bitcoin.com recently reported. It has been accepting bitcoin since 2013, again previously using Coinbase as a payment processor.
The checkout on Cheapair’s website now offers bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC), and dash (DASH) as active payment methods. Payments with three of these cryptocurrencies, BCH, LTC and DASH, were introduced in May and are currently processed by Gocoin.
“In different ways, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Dash all promise improved transactability than their predecessor, with faster transaction times and/or lower fees,” Cheapair noted in a press release. “Over the last six months, we’ve seen a huge uptick in the number of customers requesting alternative currencies, so we’ve worked hard to integrate the three that were most requested,” said CEO Jeff Klee.
Another travel agency that accepts bitcoin for plane and train tickets, cars and hotel rooms, is Destinia. It currently supports both bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) payments. Two more platforms accepting bitcoin for their services are abitsky.com and BTCtrip.
Do you think Expedia will reintroduce bitcoin payments in the future? Share your expectations in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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