How do 'Book Now, Pay Later' flights work?

Emma-Jane Stogdon

Planning a trip? If you’re booking flights, you might come across something called Book Now Pay Later (BNPL) or Fly Now Pay Later (FNPL).

Some airlines offer this as a way to spread the cost of your travel. But how does it actually work, and which airlines offer it?

Find out everything you need to know about Book Now Pay Later flights here in this helpful guide. We’ll cover the pros and cons, and a list of financing providers and airlines which offer BNPL/FNPL.

We’ll even show you an easy, cost-effective way to pay for your flights, using the Wise card. It lets you pay in 40+ currencies, both online and in the real world, and ensures you always get the mid-market exchange rate.

What are Book Now Pay Later flights?

Book Now Pay Later flights are a way to spread the cost of your travel. You can book and confirm your flights, but you don’t have to pay the full sum upfront - like with booking standard flights.

Depending on the provider and the payment options available, you can spread the total cost over multiple regular payments.

It’s a kind of short-term credit, just the same as other ‘buy now, pay later’ shopping services.

Book Now Pay Later flights are usually available through financing partners, such as Klarna or PayPal. Some charge fees and/or interest when you use their services.

Is BNPL the same as Fly Now Pay Later?

Book Now Pay Later (BNPL) is a general term used to describe travel where you can spread the cost over multiple instalments.

Fly Now Pay Later (FNPL) is the name of a payment service offered by a company, Pay Later Financial Services Limited.

Can you book a flight now and pay later?

If the airline or other travel operator offers Book Now Pay Later flights, you can take advantage of this service if you meet the eligibility requirements.

You’ll usually need to be over 18 years old and be able to pass a credit check.1 So if you have a poor credit history, there’s a chance you’ll be rejected.

It’s also important to make sure you’ll be able to afford the repayments on time, otherwise you could face fees and high interest rates.

How do Book Now Pay Later systems work?

All you need to do as a customer is book your flight with a travel operator offering Book Now Pay Later as an option. Choose a financing option at checkout and enter your details to apply. A credit check will be carried out and you’ll be given an instant decision.

If successful, you’ll be given a schedule for repayments, outlining how much is due by what date. You might even be given a choice of payment plans to suit your needs.

You’ll usually need to make an initial payment at the time of purchase. But after that, you can spread out the cost of your flight through a series of smaller instalments.

The problems with using Book Now Pay Later

While it may seem a convenient and flexible way to spread the cost of a large purchase such as a flight, there are some downsides to Book Now Pay Later.

Here are some potential problems to bear in mind before using this service:

  1. Some providers charge fees or interest for the service.
  2. If you don’t meet payments on time, you could be charged high fees and/or interest rates.
  3. Failure to make repayments on time could affect your credit score.
  4. It can make expensive (and potentially out-of-budget) travel seem more affordable, as you only need to make a smaller initial payment. This can leave you struggling to afford repayments, spending beyond your means or facing unmanageable debt.

Reasons to use Book Now Pay Later services for travel bookings

We’ve looked at the cons, so now let’s run through the pros of using Book Now Pay Later services for travel bookings:

  1. If you can afford the repayments, it’s a good way to spread the cost of a larger purchase
  2. Many providers offer flexible payment plans, so you can choose an option to suit you.
  3. It could be cheaper than some other forms of credit - especially in the case of emergency travel, where you’d be borrowing anyway.

Which companies provide financing options to pay for flights?

Here are just a few of the options available at checkout for Book Now Pay Later flights:


Klarna is a popular Buy Now Pay Later company. It’s a Swedish fintech company offering online financial services, including a Klarna card.

UK customers can choose to ‘Pay in 3’ with Klarna, where you can spread the cost into 3 interest-free instalments, paid automatically every 30 days. Alternatively, you can book your flights and pay the full amount in 30 days.2

PayPal Credit and Pay in 3

You’ll have heard of PayPal, the online payment company based in the US but operating worldwide. It’s used as a payment method for online shopping, transfers and more.

PayPal also has a couple of credit options, PayPal Credit and Pay in 3. If you have a PayPal account, you may be offered one of more of these options when booking flights at a participating website.

PayPal Credit is a credit limit attached to your account, and PayPal Pay in 3 works in a similar way to Klarna - letting you spread the cost over 3 interest-free instalments.3 You need to apply to be accepted for both of these.


Alongside Klarna, ClearPay is another Buy Now Pay Later financial company growing in popularity in the UK. Formerly known as Afterpay, it’s an Australian company originally founded in 2014.

The app-based ClearPay lets you pay in 4 interest-free instalments over six weeks.4 It’s primarily used for shopping, but some travel operators offering Book Now Pay Later flights use it.

Which travel operators offer Book Now Pay Later flights?

There are plenty of travel operators that allow you to book flights through them, and take advantage of the option to pay in instalments.

Alternative Airlines

Alternative Airlines is a global flight search and booking site that lets you Book Now & Pay Later with over 600 airlines. It’s available to customers in the UK, who can choose from Klarna, PayPal Credit and ClearPay to spread the cost of flights.1

Fly Now Pay Later

Fly Now Pay Later is an app-based travel loans provider based in London. According to its website though, it’s not currently offering any lending services while it makes _“improvements to our business to better serve our customers.”5

Travel Up

Travel Up is a UK-based travel agent offering holiday packages, flights and more. It uses Fly Now Pay Later as a flexible payment option, where you can choose to pay for your trip over a three to 12 month period.6

However, you’ll need to check that this is still the case as Fly Now Pay Later isn’t currently operating.


A UK-based travel agency, Flymble specialises in Book Now Pay Later flights. You can search and book with 150+ airlines, and choose from a selection of interest-free plans. These include pay before departure, and pay afterwards in 3-12 monthly payments.7

Travel House

Travel House is a UK travel agency specialising in flights, although it also offers customised holiday packages. You can choose Book Now Pay Later flights and pay in instalments over three months.8


A popular US travel technology and booking site, Expedia lets you search for and book everything from flights and hotels to car rental. When you book directly with Expedia, you can use Klarna to spread the cost of your flights.

Which airlines accept BNPL as a payment method?

There’s only one major airline in the UK which accepts BNPL as a payment method directly, and this is Jet2.3 It accepts PayPal Pay in 3 at checkout, alongside standard payment methods such as debit and credit cards.

You can still take advantage of pay later services when booking with other airlines, but you’d need to book through a travel operator such as Alternative Airlines.

Book flights and spend worldwide with the Wise card

Ready to see the world? Wherever you’re jetting off to, make sure you pack the Wise card in your travel wallet.

The Wise card lets you spend like a local in 150+ countries, automatically converting currency at the mid-market exchange rate. There’s just a small fee for the conversion*.

And, it’s fee-free if you already have the currency in your Wise account.

You can also spend online with your Wise card, making it ideal for booking flights and hotels on the move.

Open a Wise account online and you can get your own Wise card for a one-time fee of just £7, and start managing your money in 40+ currencies at once.

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And that’s it - your handy guide to Book Now Pay Later flights, including how they work and which travel companies offer them. You should now have all the info you need to decide if it’s the right option for you.

Just make sure you read the small print on fees and interest rates, and make sure you can afford the repayments.

Sources used for this article:

  1. Alternative Airlines - about Fly Now Pay Later services
  2. Klarna - Klarna options for UK customers
  3. PayPal - about Pay in 3 and how Jet2 uses BNPL service PayPal Pay in 3
  4. ClearPay - how Clearpay works
  5. Fly Now Pay Later - details on this FNPL service not currently operating
  6. Travel Up - about Fly Now Pay Later at Travel Up
  7. Flymble - how Flymble works
  8. Travel House - payment plans with Travel House

Sources checked on 16-04-2024.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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