The world’s first ever “fly all you can” airline, Surf Air, recently announced its support for cryptocurrency payments. According to the California-based commuter airline, they are now accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment for their services.
The cryptocurrency payment option is available for both the airline’s monthly membership program and chartered global flights.
“Surf Air was built on the idea of disrupting and changing the way the world sources, purchases, and accesses air travel so it only makes sense that we would be on the cutting edge of accepting new forms of payment such as Bitcoin and Ethereum,” said Sudhin Shahani, the chairman and CEO of Surf Air in a statement on its website. “We are focusing on staying on the bleeding edge of technology as a way to provide the most progressive, secure, and efficient air travel in the world. Digital currency has been on out radar from the very beginning and we are excited to provide our members with another quick and seamless way to do business with Surf Air.”
According to CoinWire.com, Surf Air would allow their customers to pay using cryptocurrencies through a mobile app. The site also noted that passengers who subscribed to the service could fly as many times as they wanted, and be fast tracked through security as the airline pre-screened all passengers.
Introducing a new way to pay for a new way to fly! Surf Air is now accepting #Bitcoin and #Ethereum. Now you can travel across CA, TX, Europe, and all over the globe at a moment's notice using various digital payment methods. Learn more at https://t.co/bMX2prahez #cryptocurrency pic.twitter.com/VHbG8n3gaH
— Surf Air (@SurfAir) December 5, 2017
Surf Air caters to over 70 flights in California, and 30 flights all over Texas every day. In June 2017, the airline launched its first European service flights, which will soon fly to London, Zurich, Cannes, and Ibiza. The airline is also said to have plans to fly commercial planes from Zurich to Luxembourg and Munich. Surf Air in Europe will operate under the same subscription model where customers pay, starting from, a £1,750 ($2,180) monthly fee for unlimited travel. Surf Air will start connecting London to Zurich during the week and Ibiza in Spain at weekends.
Currently, the company has 5 membership options for their customers. Unlimited Global allows people to travel to and from California, Texas, as well as some places in Europe. There’s also Unlimited Europe, Unlimited United States, Unlimited California, and Unlimited Texas.
Using the current exchange rate for Bitcoin, the prices for Surf Air’s yearly membership costs about 7.3 Bitcoins or 156.3 Ethereums (£63,435) for Unlimited Global, and around 3 Bitcoins or 65 Ethereum (£26,000) for other membership programs. One Bitcoin can buy 5 months of Surf Air Basic Membership.
The monthly subscription flight service, which was pioneered by Surf Asia in 2013, fills the gap between commercial and private flying. It also gives a cheaper and effective solution to the private air travel experience. By offering frequent fliers the option to access private aircraft and terminals on a daily basis, Surf Air has created a service that is inexpensive for existing members of commercial airlines.
Apart from Surf Air, there are other airlines that accept cryptocurrency payments including Virgin Airline and LOT Polish Airlines.
As of October 2017, the company says it has 5,000 active members that pay the airline a monthly fee. Because of the success of its operations, the company added two additional aircrafts, replacing its older legacy PC-12s.