Finance, fly and pay later

A new site is offering a creative way to handle travel costs - at a price.

Tampa, FL – Labor Day marks the end of the summer travel season. Now, we gear up for the holiday travel extravaganza. CheapAir.com says it has an option for you to fund that travel getaway or a travel emergency.

The travel site and financial company, Affirm, have teamed up to help fliers pay for airfare with three, six or twelve-month plans. After selecting your flight at checkout, you choose “monthly payment,” enter your information and within seconds find out if you’re approved.

Like credit cards, the financing isn’t free. The Annual Percentage Rate can range from 10 to 30 percent.

At Tampa International Airport, those getting ready to fly had mixed reactions.

Travis Avant had just put his daughter on a flight to Sweden. She’s headed there to achieve her life-long dream of becoming a professional soccer player.

“It was just short of $800,” said Avant about the flight he purchased.

Avant paid in cash and said he doesn’t believe in spending what you don’t have.

“We have been planning for events like this and we took the money that we had saved and we bought the flight that we could. The beautiful thing about it was we paid cash for it,” he said.

For those who don’t have the cash or credit card, CheapAir.com says the monthly payment plan is something to consider. They say it’s an alternative.

10News WTSP calculated how much interest Avant would have paid for an $800 flight through the service. The total interest he would have paid using a 12-month term and an APR of 10% would have been $43.99. For a 30% APR, the total interest would be almost $136.

Some say that’s worth it and point to the fact that they already pay for airline tickets using their credit cards.

“If you’re buying a ticket on a credit card sooner or later you'll be paying interest on that credit card anyways,” said Orlando Ventura.

Jo Hill also like the idea. She and her husband fly to Europe about once a year. She also says it could help those in emergency situations.

“I think it would be something that many, many people would be interested in because especially if there are flights that people need to take as an emergency and they don't have the funds necessary it would be a fantastic option for a lot of people,” she said.

Others like Kori Hostetler and her husband weren’t as keen.

“Credit card debt gives me anxiety,” said Hostetler.

CheapAir isn’t the first to offer “financing” on flights.

Other companies such as STA Travel and Airfordable offer down payment plans. United Airlines also offers down payment plans for vacation packages. As with layaway plans, you have to pay the full amount by the time you take your trip.

CheapAir.com says this financing option allows you to keep paying well after you land.

Company representatives say they also hope to expand this to hotel bookings. 


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