Customers still face airline card booking fees

It has emerged that passengers will still be subject to credit card charges, despite leading budget airlines being told to make card surcharges more transparent.

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Scrutiny over the controversial charges in the aviation industry from Office of Fair Trading (OFT) have prompted 12 low-cost airlines including Lufthansa, Thomas Cook and easyJet to remove surprise debit charges from the last stage in their booking process.

The OFT argued that debit cards were the “online equivalent of cash” and as such no additional charges should be imposed.

Instead, the regulator has said airlines should include all credit or debit card charges in the advertised price, to avoid confusing customers.

Although the OFT doesn’t have the power to demand that airlines eliminate debit cards charges, it can ask them to include these charges in the flight price.

Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Jet2 and Ryanair have until 1 December to implement the changes, while other airlines including easyJet, Flybe and Wizz Air have already made changes.

While many travellers will welcome the transparent charges, they will still face extra credit card fees from airlines when making a booking..

The OFT has admitted that credit cards may be “more costly to process”, before adding: “It is critical that these charges are transparent and not sprung on shoppers towards the end of the booking process.”

Last year consumer watchdogs hit the government and leading financial bodies with a ‘super complaint’ to voice their outrage over airline card fee charges. Which? revealed that airlines pocket as much as £265,000 a day in card fee charges.

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