Lonely Planet Writer

CheapAir offers monthly repayments for air tickets and accommodation

A US online travel agency (OTA) is allowing fliers to buy air tickets and accommodation which can then be paid for through monthly repayments or other instalment arrangements. CheapAir.com has come together with Affirm, a financial services company, to offer one, three, six or 12-month financial plans to buy their airfares and pay for places to stay.

Customer satisfaction with airlines soars.
CheapAir is offering passengers a range of ways to pay, including monthly repayments, for air tickets and accommodation Image by Frank Kovalchek / CC BY 2.0

CNN reports that after customers select their flight, they can opt to pay in a number of ways once their ticket costs more than US$100. They are then directed by the online agency to a credit screening. Travelmole.com reports that CheapAir is the first OTA to offer credit in this manner. After giving details, customers who qualify get approval of their purchases in real time.

CheapAir is offering an alternative to the credit card way of paying by accepting monthly and other payments for tickets and other travel services
CheapAir is offering an alternative to the credit card way of paying by accepting monthly repayments for tickets and other travel services Image by Håkan Dahlström / CC BY 2.0

CheapAir CEO Jeff Klee says that credit card companies have not kept up to date as there was now many alternatives ways to pay. He emphasises that his company wanted to give everyone the opportunity to travel, with or without the ability to buy flights or accommodation with credit cards. The new method of payments focuses on travellers who either can’t afford to pay up front or don’t use a credit card. The CEO says that when booking a holiday, it normally means a lot of money and spreading out the payments makes it easier to manage.

Mr Klee said CheapAir was providing one more option against credit cards. “I think (this) is a good thing,” he said, adding the more options customers had, the better. With lower fuel costs dominating at present, airfare prices are likely to continue to drop. This has led to airlines putting on extra flights and adding new routes. CheapAir became the first US OTA to come up with a Bitcoin cryptocurrency payment option three years ago.