Millennials are changing the travel industry. The frugal and tech-savvy generation that so many people bemoan has prompted big hotel companies to launch affordable, hostel-like lodgings and install voice-activated assistance in rooms. It's backed a booming peer-to-peer industry. It's demanded that low-cost accommodations and budget airlines no longer be a seedy alternative.
And now, one online travel agency is catering to people who don't have credit cards—most of whom happen to be millennials. CheapAir.com allows customers to make monthly payments on plane tickets instead of paying up front, which means travelers can now book and take an expensive flight, but pay for it later.
This "Travel Now, Pay Later" option will make pricey, last-minute flights a lot easier to pay for, and could also open doors for people that simply can't afford to book flights. CheapAir's payment plans are backed by Affirm, a loan servicer that will collect monthly payments and 10-30 percent interest, depending on a "soft" credit elegibility check. Purchasers spending more than $100 on fares will be able to choose between three, six, or 12-month financing plans.
CheapAir says it's offering payment plans in light of BankRate.com findings that suggest 67 percent of 18-29 year olds don't have a credit card. The study cites student loan debt as one reason younger people might not want to use credit, as well as financial problems that occurred during the Great Recession seven years ago. BankRate found that the majority of people over 30 have credit cards.
"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 CheapAir.com said of the launch.
"We want to give everyone the freedom to travel, regardless of whether or not they choose to use credit cards."
Millennials (and others) without credit cards, rejoice.
More from SmarterTravel:
- How Millenials Are Changing the Way Hotels Cater to Guests
- Is the 'Best Travel Rewards Card' the Right Credit Card for You?
- This New Credit Card Scam Preys on Hotel Guests