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Airlines to end surprise surcharges
Twelve airlines have agreed to change their practice of springing last-minute fees on debit card payments
Twelve airlines - including easyJet and Ryanair - will no longer spring last-minute fees on customers paying by debit card, the consumer watchdog has revealed.
The carriers have agreed to include debit card surcharges in the headline ticket price rather than surprise consumers at the end of the booking process, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said.
The airlines also agreed to make surcharges for credit cards more transparent so these fees will be clearer and easier to find during the booking process, the OFT added.
Aer Lingus, BMI Baby, Eastern Airways, easyJet, Flybe, German Wings, Jet2, Lufthansa, Ryanair, Thomas Cook, Thomson (TUI) and Wizz Air were subject to an OFT consumer law investigation and have agreed to change their practices.
Clive Maxwell, the OFT's chief executive, said: "It is important that the cost presented when they search for a flight is realistic and that they are not surprised by extra charges."
The Government has also announced plans to bring forward legislation to ban excessive debit and credit card surcharges, which cost consumers £300 million a year from the airline sector.
The OFT said people should not have to incur surcharges to use a debit card online as they are the "online equivalent of cash" which means that headline prices should be the price people can pay. However, the OFT said traders may still impose surcharges for credit cards, which can be more costly to process.
Mr Maxwell continued: "We made it clear from the start that we would use all of our enforcement powers, including court action if necessary, but are pleased to have reached agreement with the airlines before court proceedings were required."
Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said: "Over 50,000 people supported our campaign to end rip-off surcharges so it's good news that debit card surcharges will be displayed in the headline price of flights - as long as the airlines don't use this as an excuse to push up their prices.
"It's also important that credit card charges are clearly displayed throughout the booking process and the OFT should make sure that all companies are taking these steps, not just airlines. We're pleased that the Government has said they are sticking to their original timetable to ban excessive card surcharges by the end of the year."
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Doesn't mean we arent going to be ripped off. Just means it'll be more transparent and more obvious we are being ripped off.
And isn't it about time that ALL factions of the petroleum selling circus, including HM Treasury, stopped pricing their products/tax-take in decimal points of a penny. For heavens sake, the decimal half penny was demonetised in December 1984.
One would wish that the aforementioned racketeers would round their prices/take DOWN to end this anomalous scenario but we know that isn't going to happen. Does anyone ever take note of the decimal point value on advertised prices? One suspects that sensible penny-wise people round the figure UP to the next whole sequential number to arrive at the correct price. It's corporate trickery, sleight of hand, ocular deception. In effect, subliminal messaging. And that is illegal.
I believe that this should have been done along time ago. As our options to book flights online is by credit or debit card as cheques are a thing of the past. As consumers we shouldn't be absorbing exuberant costs to do so. Lets face it most of the population carry little cash around and pay by card for most things now.
I used to have to do a lot of travel by air and found that both EasyJet and Ryanair were actually a complete rip-off.
In one case I found the scheduled carrier that was eventually used was actually over £100 cheaper than EasyJet with better timings and connections.
In many other cases any intial difference was outweighed by the fact that the scheduled carrier wasn't going to hit me for expensive 'extras' - what someone like BA quoted me for the tickets on their website was the actual cost of travel whereas the cheapos (particularly with Ryanair) seem to always quote an initially low fare then try and load it up with extras.
The other nasty little problem is that budget flights often go into secondary airports, sometimes miles from the advertised destination. Two colleagues of mine got caught like this and found it was a 50euro taxi ride to the actual destination.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Regulations governing self-styled budget airlines need to be tightened up and in particular they need to be forced to re-structure their booking process to tell passengers exactly how much the flights are going to cost at the time of booking with last-minute additions at the gate banned.
all sales should be priced as total not adding vat or any other costs. this should be law
and not having these grey areas to compare
not just the airlines, but gov dept eg: DVLA make a charge when paying road fund tax using a credit card
every one is at it
Easy-jet and Ryan Air lost my consumerism many years ago and they are not getting it back, basically you screw your customer once and you may lose that customer for life. I’m an avid Norwegian Airline customer, cheap, cheerful, good service and nice prices!
The admin fees will rise - it's as easy as that (especially with Ryanair - the greediest airline in the world!).
I would like to know if any profit is made from the transaction charges. I can accept a charge for administration but it should be the actual charge that it costs the company involved. If not, then it is a hidden way to make additional profits and that should be against the law!
Why do different companies make different card charges. It's the same damn card after all!
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