CALABASAS, CALIF. – CheapAir.com is now the first online travel agency to accept monthly payments for flight purchases. By offering 3-, 6- and 12-month purchase plans, CheapAir.com aims to make travel accessible to everyone. The company has partnered with Affirm, a financial services technology provider, to enable this new checkout option.
Since 1989, CheapAir.com has taken an unconventional approach to helping people book trips, and has introduced a variety of unique online payment options with the aim of providing more options and more flexibility to travelers. The online travel agency was the first to accept Bitcoin for flights and hotels. CheapAir.com was also the first U.S. travel company to offer buyer protection with its Price Drop Payback, a feature that reimburses customers up to $100 per ticket if their fare drops before their trip.
CheapAir.com introduced monthly payments in large part for those who love travel but hate credit cards. An astounding 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” said Jeff Klee, CEO of CheapAir.com. “We want to give everyone the freedom to travel, regardless of whether or not they choose to use credit cards.”
When customers reach the CheapAir.com checkout page, they may now choose “Monthly Payments.” With the customer’s name, email address, mobile phone number, date of birth, and the last four digits of the customer’s social security number, Affirm makes a credit decision in real time. Affirm does not charge late fees, service fees, prepayment fees or any other hidden fees. Customers can make their monthly payments by debit card, ACH transfer, or check.