More airlines join the list of carriers that offer passengers to book a flight but to pay for it over time. The latest major airline to join the club is the German carrier Lufthansa.
The airline loyal customers got the message in an email on December 21, 2021 just a few days before Christmas. Lufthansa announced it partnered with Uplift to offer its US based travelers the option to book flights on credit.
How does it work?
The airline partners with a third party credit institution. In our case Uplift, but it could be PayPal, or others who pay the airline the price of ticket on your behalf. In turn the passenger has to enter into an agreement with the credit institution to pay for the flight on small monthly installments based on the amount purchase for set period of time.
The third party promises fix installments, quick application, no late fees and pre-payment penalties, and easy auto-pay process. This is how it typically works.
When ready to purchase the flight you have an option to pay in full or set amount per month after approval.
For example, a round trip from New York City to London’s Heathrow airport on Lufthansa Airlines in the end of January, 2022 on Lufthansa website would cost approximately $860 in Economy Flex class.
Using Uplift you pay $0 at the time of the purchase, followed by 11 monthly payments of approx $85 per month at 15% APR. Actual terms are based on your credit score and other factors, and may vary. The ticket price has to be not less then $200 to qualify. Not everyone is eligible and some US states are not included, including IA and WV. Most loans offered through Uplift are issued by CBW Bank, Member of FDIC. Loans made in Colorado may be issued directly by Uplift, Inc.
Here are some other airlines that use Uplift:
- Alaska Airlines – US based
- Allegiant Air – US based budget carrier
- Frontier Airlines – US based budget carrier
- Spirit Airlines – US based budget carrier
- Volaris – Mexican low-cost airline based in Mexico City
PayPal Credit (former Bill Me Later)
Airlines also offer payments with PayPal. Having a PayPal payment option allows passenger to take advantage of the PayPal Credit very much like Uplift allowing you to pay over time.
PayPal Credit charges no interest if you pay what you owe in full within 6 months for purchases of $99 or more. Moreover, some carriers offer multiple payment option and more then one Book-now-pay-over-time option.
For example, Lufthansa and the Canadian local carrier Porter Airlines offer Uplift and PayPal at the same time.
Here are some airlines that offer PayPal Credit:
KLM and Qatar Airways also offer travelers to pay with PayPal with the option of holding a fare for 72 hours for a non-refundable fee in case you want to give it a second thought after you purchase a ticket.
I personally used PayPal Credit to purchase tickets on Lufthansa Airlines and it’s pretty cool. You don’t owe a penny at the time of purchase. It allows you to free up cash to spend for the upcoming trip and pay for your ticket over six months period to avoid interest. Just have to be mindful and financially responsible for this to be worth it. One late payment and the interest fees are rolling down the hill like a snow ball.