Vueling to introduce cryptocurrency payments

Spanish carrier Vueling will accept cryptocurrency payments from the second half of 2023 following an agreement with Criptan, a platform for buying and selling cryptocurrencies, the companies announced.

The partnership will allow the carrier, part of the IAG group, to integrate NFT technology and see it become the first low-cost airline in Europe to accept cryptocurrencies.

Air Baltic became the first airline in the world to accept bitcoin back in 2014, and LOT Polish Airlines followed suit in 2015.  

Vueling said it will utilise UATP, the global network for air, rail and travel agency payments, to “guarantee the service”.  

“This agreement places us at the forefront of new technologies and innovation, further strengthening our commitment to our customers and offering the best and most advanced tools and solutions on our website,” said Vueling distribution and alliances manager, Jesús Monzó.

As part of the agreement, the two companies are currently researching strategic applications of blockchain technology and NFTs to “offer innovative solutions to customers and improve the user experience through digital tools”.

The acceptance of cryptocurrencies as payment in travel remains a hotly debated issue. While a small number of suppliers and TMCs are integrating crypto payment options, widespread adoption is lacking. 

BTN Europe examined various attitudes towards cryptocurrency in travel as part of a recent Smart Money feature.