You Can Buy Plane Tickets on Layaway Now, but That Doesn't Mean You Should

There's one big reason it's not worth it

By Diane Rommel

 
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01 September 2016

Want to fund your plane tickets the saddest way possible? 

Cheapair.com has a solution for you: layaway

Well, it's not exactly layaway, but it's close. (Read: worse.) It's a loan. Sign up, hand over your details for a credit check and choose a duration over which you'll repay it (three, six or 12 months). Depending on the results of that credit check, you'll pay an interest rate of between 10 and 30 percent. 

Now, let's think about that for a minute. 

Customers with excellent credit will be the ones earning the 10 percent rate. Chances are, they have a range of other ways to pay for their plane tickets — credit or charge cards, e.g. (Cheapair also takes bitcoin, for what that's worth.)

The customers who are most likely to want to pay off their tickets over a 12-month period are the ones with the worst credit. Who'll be at the upper end of that 30 percent range. Thirty percent is a lot: as CNN Money points out, about twice the rate on the average credit card

We feel for parents who just want to take their kids on a nice vacation and are tempted by this chance to do so. But thirty percent is a lot. You might say the company's making possible what once was not. We might say they're preying on vulnerable consumers. 

And we don't know about you, but when we were kids, the best vacation we ever took was in the backyard, and involved a sheet folded over a picnic table to make a tent.

Cost: $5. Cash. 

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