Author Topic: Layaway for airfare  (Read 4046 times)

mountains_o_mustaches

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Layaway for airfare
« on: October 11, 2016, 08:12:11 PM »
I can't make this shit up: https://www.airfordable.com/faqs

In a nutshell - you buy find the airfare you want, send it to them, they pay for it in your name, they charge you up to 20% more than the ticket cost so that you can pay in installments.  You only get your ticket once you've paid in full... I'm guessing a decent # of people don't pay in full - if that's the case all the $ you paid toward it you get back in credits that you can only spend in Airfordable.  SMH

Primm

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2016, 09:23:44 PM »
Don't most travel agents allow you to pay in instalments without charging interest? Why not just do that instead? When I flew to South Africa for my sister's wedding years ago (me, husband, two kids) we paid a deposit and then I paid it off over about 6 months. And no, there was no interest involved. The only downside was if the airfares had gone up (they didn't) we would have had to pay the higher price.

That makes no sense.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2016, 09:27:12 PM »
Why not just save first, then buy the ticket without the mark-up?

slugline

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2016, 07:54:38 AM »
Why not just save first, then buy the ticket without the mark-up?

Because the buyers have a hunch that between now and the time they would have that sum,  the price of their tickets will have greatly increased -- beyond the markup. This is sort of like timing the airfare market on margin?

LeRainDrop

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2016, 08:28:36 AM »
Why not just save first, then buy the ticket without the mark-up?

Because the buyers have a hunch that between now and the time they would have that sum,  the price of their tickets will have greatly increased -- beyond the markup. This is sort of like timing the airfare market on margin?

Well, yeah, I get it.  I was being facetious.  Like, before the people decide they want to go anywhere, they should be saving money aside with the foresight that they probably will want to fly somewhere at sometime in the future.  Thus, the next time they decide to fly somewhere, they already have the cash ready to buy the ticket immediately at the good price sans mark-up.

Chris22

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2016, 08:53:54 AM »
I do this all the time, without the markup. It's called a credit card. "Buy" it today, pay at the end of the month.

slugline

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2016, 11:03:31 AM »
I do this all the time, without the markup. It's called a credit card. "Buy" it today, pay at the end of the month.

The funny thing -- well, sad really -- is that payments to Airfordable are made with credit or debit cards. So this service is really for people with chronically low balances on their bank account or chronically maxed out credit limits.

acepedro45

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2016, 06:14:43 PM »
RIPOFF ALERT! Sorry for the thread derail, but this is an abhorrent and scummy scam on the part of the travel agent.

Quote
Don't most travel agents allow you to pay in instalments without charging interest? Why not just do that instead? When I flew to South Africa for my sister's wedding years ago (me, husband, two kids) we paid a deposit and then I paid it off over about 6 months. And no, there was no interest involved. The only downside was if the airfares had gone up (they didn't) we would have had to pay the higher price.

Primm, you were snookered. You thought you were financing your trip, but you had unwittingly given your travel agent a free financial option on the price of air travel.

Let's demonstrate with an illustrative story. And for you sci-fi buffs, it features an alternative universe!   



Market price of 4 tickets to South Africa departing in 6 months is (for example) $3,000.

"Welcome to Scammy Al's Travel! Yes m'am, we'd sure be happy to part with these here tickets for $3,000. We won't even charge you interest like some of those thieven' banks! Only catch is, if the price for these beauties goes up, we'll have to charge you the difference. It's only fair, you know."


Fast forward 6 months....

Market price of tickets has climbed to $3,600. Scammy Al purchases the tickets for $3,600 and delivers them to the customer.

"Well shucks, looks like you cowpokes owe us six hundred more big ones. But there ain't no shame in honoring a fair deal, like my grandpappy always used to say. Leastaways there ain't no interest involved in this here transaction."


Fast forward 6 months and change over to an alternate universe....

Market price of tickets has fallen to $2,400. Scammy Al purchases them for $2,400. 

"Well, just like we promised, here's 4 tickets to South Africa. I see you folks have paid me exactly $3,000 over the last 6 months so we're all square. My word is oak and I always honor a deal. Mighty fine doing business with you folks!"

<Door closes behind Primm and Scammy Al fans out $600 in crisp $100 bills>

"Yeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!!!!!!!"



 

Vagabond76

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2016, 06:25:18 PM »
Use a credit card with no other purchases on it that charges a 10% or 15% rate per annum if you don't pay off in full that month. Pay 1/3 per month for 3 months and it will cost a total or 3% to 5%.

Better yet, get a new card with 0% introductory rate.

Primm

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2016, 07:26:53 PM »
RIPOFF ALERT! Sorry for the thread derail, but this is an abhorrent and scummy scam on the part of the travel agent.

Quote
Don't most travel agents allow you to pay in instalments without charging interest? Why not just do that instead? When I flew to South Africa for my sister's wedding years ago (me, husband, two kids) we paid a deposit and then I paid it off over about 6 months. And no, there was no interest involved. The only downside was if the airfares had gone up (they didn't) we would have had to pay the higher price.

Primm, you were snookered. You thought you were financing your trip, but you had unwittingly given your travel agent a free financial option on the price of air travel.

Let's demonstrate with an illustrative story. And for you sci-fi buffs, it features an alternative universe!   



Market price of 4 tickets to South Africa departing in 6 months is (for example) $3,000.

"Welcome to Scammy Al's Travel! Yes m'am, we'd sure be happy to part with these here tickets for $3,000. We won't even charge you interest like some of those thieven' banks! Only catch is, if the price for these beauties goes up, we'll have to charge you the difference. It's only fair, you know."


Fast forward 6 months....

Market price of tickets has climbed to $3,600. Scammy Al purchases the tickets for $3,600 and delivers them to the customer.

"Well shucks, looks like you cowpokes owe us six hundred more big ones. But there ain't no shame in honoring a fair deal, like my grandpappy always used to say. Leastaways there ain't no interest involved in this here transaction."


Fast forward 6 months and change over to an alternate universe....

Market price of tickets has fallen to $2,400. Scammy Al purchases them for $2,400. 

"Well, just like we promised, here's 4 tickets to South Africa. I see you folks have paid me exactly $3,000 over the last 6 months so we're all square. My word is oak and I always honor a deal. Mighty fine doing business with you folks!"

<Door closes behind Primm and Scammy Al fans out $600 in crisp $100 bills>

"Yeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!!!!!!!"

Except that...

The total price paid by me was contractually locked in to be the price of the tickets at the time I made my final payment. So if this had happened (which it didn't) there actually would have been a refund.

So while I'm not disputing this could happen, the contract I signed didn't allow it to.

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2016, 06:04:53 PM »
I am somewhat dubious of travel agents - they have to make their money somehow and that translates to higher costs for you.  It may not be through direct fees, like the layaway, but could come from commission for putting you on certain airlines or having you stay at certain hotels.  In that case you may not be paying more for that exact ticket, but you may not be getting the best deal because your agent is obligated (in order to get paid) to use certain companies.  Going through an agent for something like travel is way luxurious - there's no reason to not do it yourself and there's an extra cost to you, even if it's hidden. 

Syonyk

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2016, 08:05:18 PM »
SMH

Seriously.  Why didn't I have that idea? :(

Oh, wait, because I'm not OK with a business model that consists of "extracting money from poor people." :/

MsPeacock

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2016, 06:20:48 PM »
This airfare website was mentioned on a parenting website that I like to read. I guess I shouldn't be shocked at how many financially illiterate people are out there - but 90% of the posts were gong on about how great this service would be and how then you could buy tickets when they are on sale. Posters who mentioned saving for trips, using a credit card (which would cost less), the ridiculous fees from this serivce, the many ways it doesn't work, etc. were slammed by the other posters.

Making Cookies

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2016, 12:30:10 PM »
SMH

Seriously.  Why didn't I have that idea? :(

Oh, wait, because I'm not OK with a business model that consists of "extracting money from poor people." :/

...or ignorant people i.e. people of below average intelligence who lack foresight.

joleran

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2016, 05:18:35 AM »
I am somewhat dubious of travel agents - they have to make their money somehow and that translates to higher costs for you.  It may not be through direct fees, like the layaway, but could come from commission for putting you on certain airlines or having you stay at certain hotels.  In that case you may not be paying more for that exact ticket, but you may not be getting the best deal because your agent is obligated (in order to get paid) to use certain companies.  Going through an agent for something like travel is way luxurious - there's no reason to not do it yourself and there's an extra cost to you, even if it's hidden.

The real value of a travel agent is in a company setting.  Instead of having your highly paid workers book their own flights and create/manage some system for tracking them internally, have the travel agency do that for you and save money overall even though individually the trips are more expensive.

FIRE Artist

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2016, 12:37:09 PM »
Or you could crowdfund it.  Luckily the airlines are getting in on the game (cringe).
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/air-canada-launches-travel-crowdfunding-website-embarq/article30996670/

Syonyk

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Re: Layaway for airfare
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2016, 05:45:34 AM »
I am somewhat dubious of travel agents - they have to make their money somehow and that translates to higher costs for you.  It may not be through direct fees, like the layaway, but could come from commission for putting you on certain airlines or having you stay at certain hotels.  In that case you may not be paying more for that exact ticket, but you may not be getting the best deal because your agent is obligated (in order to get paid) to use certain companies.  Going through an agent for something like travel is way luxurious - there's no reason to not do it yourself and there's an extra cost to you, even if it's hidden.

The real value of a travel agent is in a company setting.  Instead of having your highly paid workers book their own flights and create/manage some system for tracking them internally, have the travel agency do that for you and save money overall even though individually the trips are more expensive.

^^ That. The same is true of detailed expense reports. If it takes your workers more time to collect, scan, and file receipts than just paying them a per diem would cost, it's false savings. Let them do what you hired them for, not file expense reports.