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Fly before you buy with Wanderlust

(Image credit: Wanderlust)

Wanderlust, a new South Africa startup "built for the digital age" will allow prospective travellers to book flights and pay them off before or after departure.

The company is a registered credit provider and customers will have the option of paying off their flight tickets over a six or twelve-month period. Wanderlust has partnered with several notable airlines including AirFrance, British Airways, Emirates and Delta. Local carrier Kulula is also listed.

The application process is simple, in order to qualify customers need to be over the age of 18, employed and have a good credit rating.

The company makes it seem very convenient but every credit transaction has its pitfalls, sure you'll "have more cash in your pocket while travelling" but you'll be charged interest, administration fees and there are other costs that mean you'll pay over and above what you would have if you opted for cash. 

Not to mention the short repayment periods, which the company insists is non-negotiable.

There's also no guarantee Wanderlust will finance your entire ticket, which means you'll have to cough up the rest.

How it works

Once you've signed up to the website, follow these steps and you'll be jetting away in no time:

Find a flight (on the website). Wanderlust said it offers competitive prices for popular airlines across the world and highlights the best deals tailored to you. You'll be able to see what your repayment might be over 6 or 12 months.

Once you've selected a flight, the next step is to apply for credit. You'll have to submit the relevant financial and identity documents and then wait for approval. If successful, Wanderlust will give you a spend limit, which can be used to pay for your flight.

Once you've made the first payment and a paid a deposit, if there is one, you'll be able to take flight.  Wanderlust will set up a monthly debit order and deduct the money according to the terms you agreed upon.

If successful, you will be able to fly immediately and continue to pay off the flight later on. You can settle your account at any time.

Customers can also book multiple tickets even if they haven't paid off a previous flight.

Things to take heed of

Failure to keep up with payments could lead to blacklisting and ruin your credit score. In addition to the base price of the ticket you will be charged the following extra fees:

  • An initiation fee to set up your booking.
  • Monthly admin fee.
  • You will be charged an interest rate between 10-27% based on your credit score and risk profile.

Wanderlust will not allow you to extend your terms of repayment. If you miss your flight you will still be responsible for the full payment.

If you aren't given enough credit to pay for the full ticket you will have to pay the shortfall out of pocket.

Visit the Wanderlust website to sign up: