Alternative Airlines offers alternative payments to make booking travel more convenient

Goal: To break into the U.S. travel market by offering a niche payment product to travelers.

Alternative Airlines knew that taking off in the U.S. market was key to getting its business to the next level.

The United Kingdom-based travel agency specializes in finding travelers off-the-beaten-track airlines as well as offering flight tickets with the large, well-known brands, by working with over 600 airlines across the world. To help expand its business in the U.S., the company saw a growing opportunity to provide another niche product to its customers: alternative installment payments for flight tickets through Affirm.

“Because travel is becoming more accessible, customers want to be able to buy flights quickly, conveniently, and affordably. Therefore, the installment plan worked really well with our mission to attract these customers,” said Sophie Georgalakis, Partnerships and Communications Marketing Executive at Alternative Airlines (pictured above).

Affirm helped Alternative Airlines boost  U.S. travelers’ bookings

Alternative Airlines’ used Affirm to build momentum in the U.S. travel market, and the travel agency sought to implement the pay-over-time option quickly as the holiday season approached. 

“Integration was easy and straightforward,” Georgalakis said. “The best thing is that Affirm has been so responsive. We were able to find out about the new features and push for those. It’s only the beginning.” 

Alternative Airlines took advantage of the holiday season with a 0% APR promotion

In just three months, Alternative Airlines saw 42 percent increase in average order value (AOV) compared to non-Affirm purchases and a six percent repurchase rate with Affirm. Customers coming from the Affirm app converted three times higher than the typical rate.

The holidays and new year make up an essential season for the travel industry in terms of volume. But it’s also the time when many people are looking out on a long, gloomy winter, dreaming of faraway places, and researching flights.

By offering bespoke payment terms for U.S. travelers and promotional offers including 0% APR, Alternative Airlines capitalized on the “January Blues” with an Affirm email campaign (below).

“The 0% APR is good because then customers don’t have to shop around on different sites to find the best price,” Georgalakis said. “We wanted people to be able to jump on the flight opportunities they saw. If they have the flexibility to pay off those purchases in three to six months with 0% APR, saving a few dollars doesn’t matter. I think it enables our customers to be  more reactive, and they can buy the flight right then to avoid a price increase later.”

She has seen this theory come to fruition. Since implementing Affirm, Alternative Airlines has seen a widening of booking windows as well as a 12 percent increase in overall bookings driven by traffic from the Affirm app. 

“Because of Affirm’s offers and the different payment terms, we have seen better AOV lift than with the other pay-over-time options we offer on the site,” Georgalakis said. “And there is a nice concept around Affirm’s business and how Affirm promotes itself, so it really worked for us.”

Read more on the Alternative Airlines blog: "13 reasons to buy flights with Affirm."

About the Author

Jesse Klein

Jesse's background in economics and a passion for writing helps her tackle financial technology. She was born and bred in the Bay Area and has watched as technology companies came to flourish in San Francisco. She is excited to be part of one that focuses on helping people make better financial choices.

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