Passengers can now compare the fees for card payments and optional extras imposed by 23 airlines on a new website set up by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
The comparison tool on the CAA website lists the charges made by 23 airlines operating in the UK for paying by credit and debit card or other methods including Paypal and Visa Electron.
It also lists the charges made by all the airlines for luggage, meals, reserved seating, sports equipment, and other items such as name changes.
The airlines covered include Aer Lingus, Air France, American Airlines, British Airways, Continental Airlines, EasyJet, Emirates, Flybe, Jet2.com, Ryanair, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.
The site will be updated every three months and when an airline tells the CAA of a change to its charges. The site also allows consumers to report airline websites where the prices are not clear.
‘Rip-off’ charges campaign
Which? has campaigned against excessive charges made by airlines and other companies for card payments, and we welcome the website as a step in the right direction for consumers. However, we think it does not go far enough.
Executive director Richard Lloyd said it would not tackle the heart of the problem, which was airlines’ hiding the full cost of a flight until the final stage of payment.
He added that the comparison pages were not particularly easy to find on the CAA’s website and were not going to be updated frequently enough. The comparison was also not in the easiest format for consumers to use, as it was a downloadable pdf.
The CAA has also launched a ‘passenger portal’ on its website giving advice and information for consumers to use before they travel, during their holiday and once they return home if they have had problems during the trip.
The Which? campaign against card surcharges
Resources from the Civil Aviation Authority
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