Over the course of 2014, several major retailers and companies have started accepting Bitcoin as an alternative payment method to more traditional options such as credit cards. One of these companies is Expedia, an online travel agency if you will, which lets users book flights, hotels and even combinations of both online. Unfortunately for Bitcoin enthusiasts, their Bitcoin payment gateway is not working, and it has been like this for at least 24 hours according to several reports.
We stumbled across this issue when browsing the BitcoinTalk forums this morning, as one user was mentioning how he experienced an error after selecting the Bitcoin payment option on Expedia’s website. However, as no one else seemed affected at this point in time, I decided to give it a try myself and see whether or not I’d get the same error message.
One of the major gripes I have with the Expedia website is the fact that only their .com domain accepts Bitcoin payments by the looks of things. Whenever I open the Expedia website as a Belgian citizen, I get redirected to Expedia.be, which does not accept Bitcoin payments, but only credit cards and Paypal. Luckily it is quite easy to click through to the US website, but it’s still something that I would like to see change. After all, it only requires the implementation of a few lines of code in order to enable Bitcoin payments for every locale.
Either way, I decided to pick a random booking for a hotel in Amsterdam, just for one person, and check out using Bitcoin. After filling in some of the details and creating a password, I selected “Bitcoin” as a payment method, and Expedia informed me bitcoin payments are processed through CoinBase. Not a problem for me, as CoinBase is available in Belgium as well.
Once I hit the button to go to the next page in the checkout process, I was greeted with this error message :
After checking back in with the BitcoinTalk user who originally reported the issue, he confirmed seeing the exact same error message. The question becomes : is this an issue on Expedia’s end, or is there something wrong with the payment processor, which is CoinBase? Judging from the URL in the screenshot, it appears as the fault is on Expedia’s end somewhere, which needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Expedia representatives were unable for a comment at the time of publishing this article.
Website : https://www.expedia.com