Should You Use a BNPL Plan for Your Next Vacation?

So you’re thinking about booking that girlfriends getaway or a nice family vacation, but the sticker shock is setting in, right? No wonder, since airline ticket prices are up 40 percent from the beginning of 2022 for domestic travel and 25 percent for international travel, according to the flight booking app Hopper.

To deal with those skyrocketing costs, many sisters are searching for ways to save on travel. If you’ve heard about flight installment payment plans, they can seem like an attractive option when you want to fly but don’t want to foot the bill upfront.

These financing plans allow you to book your flight now and pay off your bill over time. But despite attractive features — hello, 0 percent interest! — flight financing may promise more benefits than it actually delivers.

What are flight installment payment plans?

These plans are one form of the increasingly popular “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) trend. Also known as point-of-sale loans, BNPL deals let you get short-term payment plans for your purchases, as opposed to paying for everything all at once.

To use a BNPL plan for travel, you start by adding items (in this case, plane tickets) to your online cart through an airline or travel website’s portal. At checkout, you’ll see an option to split your payments with financing partners like Affirm, Uplift, PayPal Credit or Klarna. (Full disclosure: I own stock in Affirm.)

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