Budget airlines are pocketing more than £250,000 per day in huge debit and credit card charges, as they look to cash in before the law is changed.
The government announced last year that it would be banning the excessive credit and debit card charges that airlines levy against passengers.
This followed a ‘super-complaint’ by consumer watchdog Which? about the level of card surcharges by airlines.
It was found that airlines are making more than £265,000 per day in debit and credit card surcharges, and have pocketed an estimated £65 million since a change in regulation was first suggested.
Following the government’s announcement to change the law, Which? Executive Director Richard Lloyd said: “Given that airline passengers alone pay more than £265,000 a day in card surcharges, businesses shouldn’t drag their feet over this.
“While the law will come into force at the end of 2012, we want companies to be upfront and fair over card charges today.”
While some airlines, such as easyJet, have changed their policies, others have been accused of cashing in on customers while they still can.
Budget airline Ryanair was found to be the worst culprit, charging for each passenger and for every leg of a journey even if everything is paid for in one transaction.
In some cases, the fee levied against passengers is higher than cost of the flight. It was also found that the airline charges a £48 surcharge for a return flight for a family of four.
“Following pressure from Which? the government has pledged to bring forward the Consumer Rights Directive (CRD). Under the CRD, companies must limit card charges to the costs actually incurred,” a statement from Which? said.
“Unfortunately, the legislative process is likely to take 12 months so the new rules won’t come into force until the end of the year. That gives companies 12 months to milk extra charges from customers.”
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