UK: airlines to include debit card surcharges in headline prices

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Following enforcement action of the U.K. Office of Fair Trading (OFT), 12 airlines have agreed to include debit card surcharges in the headline price rather than surprise consumers at the end of the booking process. Any surcharges for paying by credit card will be easy to find when booking online. 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.

The OFT believes that people should not have to incur surcharges to use a debit card online. Debit cards are the online equivalent of cash which means that headline prices should be the price people can pay.

The OFT believes that traders may still impose surcharges for credit cards, which can be more costly to process. However, it is critical that these charges are transparent and not sprung on shoppers towards the end of the booking process. As part of the OFT's enforcement action the airlines agreed to make surcharges for credit cards more transparent so that these charges will be clearer and easier to find during the booking process.

Source: OFT press release 58/12 of 5 July 2012

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