Startup Lets You Pay For Flights On Layaway

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
Image via Shutterstock

Airfordable makes airfare easier to pay for by allowing users to make payments

Airfare can be horribly expensive and if you don’t have available cash or credit, totally cost-prohibitive. Enter a Chicago tech startup aiming to ease the burden of pricey flights by allowing travelers to make payments instead of fronting the cost of an airline ticket all at once.

The startup is called Airfordable and its aim is to allow buyers to pay for airfare in installments. All they have to do is submit a screenshot of a flight itinerary along with travel details. Then, Airfordable comes up with a payment plan that begins with an initial deposit with more payments made up until the date of departure.

Image via Airfordable

It’s a great idea not only for those low on cash or having difficulty with credit, but for people wanting to lock in a good fare but unable to come up with the money all at once. There’s a one-time fee when booking that’s around 10-20% of the price of the ticket, but no interest or credit checks.

Ghana native Ama Marfo is cofounder and CEO of Airfordable. She got her brilliant idea while a student at Drexel University, unable to pay her way home for school vacations.

She tells The Huffington Post, “I wanted to see my family in Ghana during school breaks, but couldn’t afford the $2,000 ticket,” she said. “I stayed in the dorm alone or with other international students who couldn’t go home. Because of this personal frustration, I set out to determine how to make travel more accessible.”

Image via Airfordable

Together with COO Craig Henry and third cofounder Emmanuel Buah, Airfordable was born. It has since accumulated more than 1,000,000 miles worth of flights booked between it’s 27,000 users, who Marfo says run the gamut as far as their reasons for needing airfare.

“We have a lot of students using Airfordable to travel home or for study abroad programs. While other users are planning travel based around life milestones such as destination weddings and family vacations. We are covering just about any travel need you can think of,” she says.

As someone whose family is within easy driving distance, I can’t imagine how hard it must be to try to visit loved ones needing airfare for one person, let alone several. However, my parents are currently mulling a move after they’re both retired and I’m already biting my nails panicking about how we’ll visit them when airfare for four people could be upward of $2,500, round-trip. A program like this would be amazing for that purpose, and so many others.

Airfordable’s future plans include adding hotel and vacation packages on a similar payment schedule, and it’s a fantastic idea. “A lot of people, especially those who live paycheck to paycheck, don’t have the money to pay for plane tickets upfront. But that shouldn’t stop them from traveling or resorting to credit cards to pay for plane tickets,” says Marfo.

So true. Everyone deserves a vacation, but paying all costs at the time of booking can be prohibitive to those who don’t have that kind of money saved up.

Kudos to Marfo and her team for recognizing and meeting a very real need, helping so many in the process.

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