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9% of Aussies plan to fly now pay later

·Finance reporter
·3-min read
Passengers at Sydney Airport
Aussies looking to BNPL for international flights (Source: Getty)

As Aussies scroll longingly on airline websites planning their next overseas trip, nearly 9 per cent are planning to pay for it much later by using either personal loans or Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services like Afterpay.

That’s the takeaway from research out today from Finder, which also found 15 per cent of Millenials and Gen Z were keen to fly now pay later.

BNPL offered by airlines

Some of the major Australian airlines are now offering BNPL payment options for their flights, making it tempting to book that trip.

Cathay Pacific, Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia are among the local airlines offering flights without having to pay for the entire flight upfront.

Although an interest-free finance option seems like a breeze, missing a payment can often result in a fee of around $10.

Qantas plane lands as a Virgin Blue plane taxis for take-off.
Qantas and Virgin are keen to get passengers back into the skies. (Source: Getty)

Credit card expert at Finder, Amy Bradney-George, said BNPL services could be a great alternative for Aussies desperate to travel.

“Booking travel in such unpredictable and unprecedented times can be challenging, and it’s made even harder during an expensive time of year," Bradney-George said.

“Having the opportunity to space out repayments can be tempting for people who might not have the cash on hand to pay all at once. For the travel industry, it can also encourage sales after such a tough time.”

Sensible savers still top

A healthy 59 per cent of those surveyed planned to fund their international flights through savings - the largest segment of those surveyed.

Almost a quarter of respondents were unsure of how they planned to pay for their flights, with a further 20 per cent planning to put it on credit cards, potentially risking attracting interest charges if not paid off entirely by the due date.

As for using BNPL? Bradney-George suggested using restraint and considering what was appropriate for the individual.

“BNPL can be a great way of spacing out your cash flow as long as you’re keeping it to one purchase at a time and limiting your accounts to one,” she said.

“A dream vacation is on everyone’s minds, but before you commit to a large repayment, think about your current and future financial obligations and whether you can afford it.”

Crypto least popular for vacationers

Only a measly 2 per cent of those surveyed said they would pay for flights using cryptocurrency—although that may change as crypto becomes more widely available, particularly given the the Treasurer's proposed crypto reforms coming in 2022.

A small cohort - 3 per cent - of Aussies surveyed said they planned to hit up a friend or family member for the money - hopefully no one I’m related to.

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