Last updated: 01:21 PM ET, Mon August 29 2016 To Offer Monthly Payments For Flights

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | August 26, 2016 To Offer Monthly Payments For Flights

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.

Airlines have long moved to become more of a retailer, especially with a la carte offerings. Now, online travel agencies are moving toward the same model. today became the first online travel agency to accept monthly payments for flight purchases. By offering 3-, 6- and 12-month purchase plans – with credit approval – hopes its virtual layaway plan will make traveling more accessible.

The company said it is introducing monthly payments in large part for those who love travel but do not use, or have, credit cards. found that 67 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds do not have a credit card, according to a 2016 survey commissioned by Bankrate.

Without a credit card, booking expensive flights and last-minute trips can be difficult for many travelers who find paying the entire trip cost upfront cost-prohibitive.

“Credit card issuers, in many respects, have not kept up with the times and there are an increasing number of alternatives now available,” Jeff Klee, CEO of, said in a press release. “We want to give everyone the freedom to travel, regardless of whether or not they choose to use credit cards.”

The company has partnered with Affirm, a financial services technology provider, to enable this checkout option. This is nothing new for CheapAir, which was the first OTA to accept Bitcoin for flights and hotels.

To utilize the new plan, customers can choose the “Monthly Payments” option on the checkout page. Punch in your name, email address, mobile phone number, date of birth, and the last four digits of your social security number, Affirm will make a credit decision in real time.

Checking your eligibility will not affect your credit score, and you will not be charged by Affirm for late fees, service fees, prepayment fees or any other hidden fees. Customers can make their monthly payments by debit card, ACH transfer, or check.

For more information, check out


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