Chicago-based Airfordable is a one-year old company that allows users to pay for airline tickets in installments, or in African-American parlance, to put their flights on “layaway.”

It’s an option for those low on cash or credit, as well as those wanting to lock in a low fare.

“A lot of people, especially those who live paycheck to paycheck, don’t have the money to pay for plane tickets upfront,” says Ama Marfo, CEO and co-founder of Airfordable. “But that shouldn’t stop them from traveling or resorting to credit cards to pay for plane tickets.”

Airfordable works in three steps: travelers present the details of their itinerary by uploading it to the site, and Airfordable presents them with a payment plan. After making an initial deposit of one third of the ticket price, regular payments can be made on the balance through the date of departure, either in monthly or bi-weekly payments. After the ticket is paid off, travelers are sent an e-ticket.

Marfo said she came up with the idea while attending college in Philadelphia and could not afford the $2,000 ticket to see her family in Ghana during school breaks, according to Conde Naste Traveler.

“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.”

Marfo linked up with Craigh Henry (who serves as COO) and Emmanuel Buah (CTO), and the tech start up was born in December 2015. The company makes its profit by attaching a 20 percent service fee, which is spread evenly across payments.

If users default on payments or change their travel plans, everything they’ve paid in (minus the initial deposit) will be credited to their Airfordable account, with one calendar year to use the money on a different flight.

Right now, the main users of the site, according to Marfo, are millennial women—no surprise since sites like TravelNoir and Nomadness have taken off with just that demographic.

The company says it has future plans to expand into layaway payments for vacation packages and hotels.

SOURCE: Conde Naste Traveler | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

7 thoughts on “Black-Owned Start-Up Allows You To Put Plane Tickets On Layaway

  1. Ms. Kim on said:

    YASSSS!!! 🙂 🙂 gotta whole lotta ghetto friends! glad to see something to kick start an affordable way to travel!!!! SURF BOARD

  2. stephanie on said:

    Great idea, a great way to plan a trip and pay a little at a time till paid off. The only way my mom could afford school clothes, Christmas gifts was with layaway. Everyone who considered this great idea ghetto, is just jealous because they didn’t think of it first, with their close minded self. Wonderful idea, very creative, keep up the good work.

    • American on said:

      How come it’s ghetto? Are Wal-Mart, Kmart, Toys/Babies R Us, Sears, Burlington, Home Shopping Network, Marshalls/TJ Maxx, plus other stores around the world (called layby in Australia), ghetto as well? Paying in installments has been around since the beginning of consumerism and quite sure someone in your family – past or present have used the service. Because it’s just that – SERVICE not GHETTO.

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