Budget airlines and holiday companies have been accused of charging extortionate fees for credit card bookings.
We’ve all been there: just when you think you’ve got a cheap internet deal on flights, the last step in the process adds a fee for a bank card payment per flight, per person, that, in the case of Ryanair, can add another £40 to the cost of a return trip for four.
Consumer group Which? says that low-cost airlines are among the worst offenders and has launched a so-called super-complaint over the extortionate fees, reports the Daily Mail. The Office of Fair Trading must now decide within 90 days whether a change in regulations or the law is required.
Which? claims businesses are inflating the charges to make a fast buck. Banks charge a retailer 0.8 per cent of the credit card payment while customers can pay four or five times more. Monarch Airlines charges 5 per cent of the total payment if a credit card is used, adding £15 to a £300 flight. These charges are banned in France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Portugal and are capped in Spain and Denmark.
Ryanair has hit back in usual style, with spokesman Stephen McNamara saying, 'Before making 'super-duper complaints' the clueless clowns at 'Which, Who or What' magazine, should do some basic research. Ryanair does not levy any credit or debit card payment 'surcharges'. Even our administration fee is avoidable by passengers who use our recommended MasterCard Prepaid.'
Frequent fliers with budget airlines await the Office of Fair Trading’s decision with bated breath!