Airline card charges are still too highSome air passengers still face 'rip-off' charges

26 January 2013

Surcharges campaign logo

Some airlines are still imposing what Which? believes are unreasonable surcharges on credit card payments.

Action by Which? and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has pushed airlines into being more clear about surcharges for card payments.

But new Which? research has found that some airlines are still imposing high credit card charges or booking fees for debit cards.

Airline card charges

Last year 12 airlines pledged to the OFT that they would mend their ways, following our Which? campaign against 'rip-off' charges. When we went back and looked at the same airlines earlier in January this year, we found:

  • had a 4% fee on credit card payments and the fee is not made clear until the payment stage. We think 2% is the maximum reasonable rate and the rate should be clear from the start.
  • FlyThomasCook added a £4 per person per flight charge for credit cards. This was the equivalent of a 10% fee for one short-haul flight we looked at.
  • Wizz Air charges a £5 per person per leg booking fee for a debit card, even though this is the online equivalent of cash. Two people booking a return flight will pay £20.

Credit card charges

A Which? spokesman said: 'More than 50,000 people supported our campaign on card charges. We think any charges should be clear upfront, and shouldn't be more than the costs of taking the payment - which is no more than 2% for credit cards and nothing for debit cards.

'This is what the government's ban on excessive charges will ensure from April 2013.'

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