United Airlines Passengers Can Travel Now And Pay Later

United Airlines is going to be allowing passengers to travel right now and pay for it later, under a new partnership announced today with Californian firm Uplift. Passengers booking flights from the US to United’s many global destinations will now be offered the option to pay for their tickets monthly through the Uplift credit system.

United Airlines Fly now pay later
Fly today, pay later! Photo: United Airlines

Travel now, pay later

The partnership between United Airlines and Uplift has been announced today, and promises to let passengers travel right away on flights with payments spread over time. Uplift uses a pay monthly set up to let passengers pay off flight bookings over the following 11 months.

Uplift CEO Brian Barth told Simple Flying in a statement,


“Our mission to make travel more accessible, affordable and rewarding for everyone perfectly aligns with United’s purpose of connecting people and uniting the world. Travel has become a fundamental part of our lives and consumers today demand more flexibility. We’re excited to help more people experience the world with this partnership with United.”

United Airlines Fly now pay later
The new United Airlines homepage showing ‘travel now, pay later’ options. Photo: United

According to the company, Uplift will integrate seamlessly into the United Airlines payment processing system. From the launch of the service, passengers making bookings on United.com will see an option to pay in installments for their tickets.

Although passengers will be subject to credit checks, Uplift promise that this will be fast, convenient and easy to do. Their system uses advanced artificial intelligence which the company says provides consumers with “the highest approval rates in travel”.


A proven system

Uplift has already been put through its paces by United through their United Vacations arm. Since 2017, pay monthly via Uplift has been an option for vacationers booking holiday packages through the service, so it is something of a natural evolution to see this extended to flight only bookings also.

Praveen Sharma, VP of Digital Products and Analytics at United, said of the new service,

“We began offering Uplift Pay Monthly in 2017 with United Vacations and received great feedback from our customers about the option to pay over time. Expanding Uplift’s flexible purchase option to flight tickets now allows even more customers to travel the world and create memories that will last a lifetime.”

United travel now pay later
Fly away today with no need to pay on United. Photo: United Airlines

Uplift’s payment system was purpose-built for travel, so is seamlessly aligned to the needs of both the passenger and United themselves. Already the pay monthly option is in use alongside some of the biggest names in travel, including Kayak, Norwegian Cruise Line, Universal Studios and many more.

Although details on the offer are, at this stage, somewhat sketchy, it seems Uplift is already being used in the US by Volaris. The terms of Volaris’ pay monthly scheme include being restricted to US citizens only who are over the age of 18 and are booking a fare with a minimum value of $300. We expect United to have similar terms imposed. Interest and fees are calculated at the time of making the offer.

What do you think? Would you like to travel now and pay for it over time, or do you prefer to save up for your travel? Let us know in the comments!


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If this works well it will be a game changer for the commercial aviation industry. People that weren’t ready to go will be able to now go and pay their plane ticket in convenient installments. Wow!


A credit card (for those who have one) will allow a debt to be repaid in monthly installments, albeit at a tough interest rate. So what, in essence, is new here?


Honestly I feel like that might cause some problems for United, as some people might just not pay.

J Town

That’s not how it works. United will get paid like they would with any credit purchase. It’s Uplift that’s fronting the money and I’m sure they have plenty of experience collecting from sub-prime borrowers.


If those people don’t pay, they get a negative credit report. I think it’s a great way to get new customers and regain some confidence for United. I would consider using their credit line if the interest rate was appealing and to get a business class flight instead of flying economy normally..

1M each year

Do the math- Add all installment payments to see how much for you have to pay for your ticket. You can thank United for getting people into big debt. Lately, if you read United news, you can see from this VP, and that VP and all the names are.. Indian ones. These Indian people always come up with terrible, crazy ideas and they call “more benefits” for customers.

Yogi Bear

Thats why they are called 5-6 (a loan with 20% interest ) in some country/ies. In short referred to as “loan sharks”

L A Jackson

If a person gets into “big debt” how would that be United’s fault? Wouldn’t that be the fault of the borrower? If you know you can’t pay it back then don’t borrow it! It’s that simple.

AF Kay

I am planning a trip to Europe. I went to the UA portal to look for MileagePlus award tickets and upgrades. Whatever few (yes, very few) seats available is a joke – the number of miles required and the co-pays are ridiculous.


Allegiant air in the U.S., has been offering Uplift for about a year.

Max Lee

I utilized billmelater many years ago which was essentially the same thing, and they were a payment option for numerous airlines back in 2012. Most of those airlines were subsequently acquired but it appears that Jetblue has maintained that option.


in Brazil it’sofficially. every flight is offered in installments.