With the global airline industry in crisis due to pandemic-induced flight delays and cancellations, a startup in Bulgaria offers the option for travelers to receive compensation at Bitcoin.
Compensation through the Colibra application is available to passengers who experience a flight delay of one hour or more. The Bulgarian startup has been offering compensation to travelers with fiat issues since it began operating in June 2019, but has now added cryptomonies as a payment option.
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Since BTC is a volatile asset, users can choose whether to set the price on the day they check in for their flight or on the day they travel. For example, a frequent flyer who booked a flight last week and set a rate on the application when Bitcoin Profit was priced at $11,000 would have gotten a decent return from a delayed flight today, when BTC is over $12,000.
Colibra claims that it will guarantee a Bitcoin payment for any user delayed for an hour or more, regardless of the reason provided by the airline.
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Three hours is the standard
In the EU, airlines are obliged to compensate any passenger for delays of three hours or more that are the fault of the company. The application works by asking for compensation for all eligible passengers affected by delays of three hours or more and by sharing the funds with all passengers who were delayed for more than one hour. According to the startup, the possibility of experiencing a 90-minute delay on the airline is 30 times greater than a three-hour delay, so passengers receive compensation more often.
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In France, the AXA insurance company has used a similar compensation process based on blockchain for passengers whose flights are delayed by more than two hours.
However, fewer people are now flying than at the same time last year as airlines and authorities try to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The global travel data provider, OAG, says the number of flights scheduled on August 10 was down 47.9% worldwide, with flights from Hong Kong and Singapore down a staggering 91%.