Digital currency enthusiasts browsing for cheap plane tickets and/or hotel bookings on the popular website Cheapair.com were greeted with a surprise today: Cheapair now accepts Litecoin and Dogecoin. Cheapair has partnered with GoCoin, currently the most established Litecoin and Dogecoin payment processor in the world. Litecoin and Dogecoin users around the world now have two options for booking planes and hotels online using their favorite cryptocurrency, whether that may be Bitcoin, Dogecoin, or Litecoin.
Cheapair is a privately owned online travel agency that is based in California. Cheapair's CEO Jeff Klee reportedly received a customer request that Cheapair accept Bitcoin through the company's feedback channels and shortly after, decided to act on it. Every single time a large company or website launches Bitcoin acceptance, more fringe pockets of the cryptocurrency community always feel a little left out. Merchant adoption is one of the best measurements of a cryptocurrency's health.
Cheapair partnered with Coinbase in late 2013 to allow customers to book flights using Bitcoin. At the time, Cheapair was the largest company to make such a move. Months later, in 2014, Cheapair announced that they would also accept Bitcoin for their affiliated network of over 200,000 hotels worldwide. Around the same time, Expedia (the 2nd largest player in the industry) also announced their acceptance of Bitcoin.Cheapair's use of Coinbase is an obvious decision as Coinbase was the only Bitcoin payment processor offering free Bitcoin payment processing for the first $1 million USD in sales, at the time. By all accounts, Cheapair has long since surpassed $1 million USD in sales.
Cheapair is still maintaining their Bitcoin payment processing partnership with Coinbase and has chosen to only utilize GoCoin for their Litecoin and Dogecoin payment processing. GoCoin does offer Bitcoin payment processing as well; however, increasing number of merchants are choosing only to use GoCoin for Litecoin and Dogecoin. Alternatively, there are companies that use GoCoin to process Bitcoin that have not yet opened up their doors to Litecoin or Dogecoin acceptance.
— CheapAir ✈ (@CheapAir) September 3, 2014
Interestingly enough, GoCoin sent a tweet to Cheapair back in April of 2014. The tweet was "favorited" by Cheapair, and now GoCoin and Cheapair's relationship has advanced to the next level.
— GoCoin.com (@GoCoin) April 18, 2014
Cheapair Follows BTCTrip Again
It was just a few weeks ago that BTCTrip announced their acceptance of Litecoin and Dogecoin through a partnership with GoCoin. BTCTrip was created as a dedicated platform for cryptocurrency enthusiasts to have access to Expedia and Cheapair-like services back before any of the big boys had started accepting Bitcoin yet. BTC Trip has led the industry in Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin acceptance, with Cheapair fast on its tail. However, Cheapair hasn't attempted to emulate BTCTcrip's most ambitious business plan yet: Turn 150,000 hotels into local Bitcoin Exchanges.
In the year 2014, the community can clearly look back in time with the benefit of hindsight and applaud the innovators that challenged the status quo and forced change from previously stalwart giants. Sites such as BTCTrip and BitcoinStore showed their respective industries that Bitcoin is a viable payment method with an incredibly robust community behind it. Litecoin and Dogecoin users now have the same chance to showcase their economic function.