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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 21 August, 2014

End to rip-off flight fees in sight?

The UK’s Office of Fair Trading has called for a ban on debit card surcharges by airline companies.

Image: John Birdsall/John Birdsall/Press Association Images

CALLS HAVE BEEN made for an end to the ‘rip-off’ fees incurred when people purchase flights online.

The Guardian reports that the UK’s Office of Fair Trading has asked its government to ban debit card surcharges following an investigation by the consumer group Which?.

Which?’s campaign on card fees showed that some companies were charging up to €5.50 to take payment on a debit or credit card – despite it costing airlines only around 22c for them take the payment.

The company also found that purchasing tickets for a family of four could incur extra charges of up to €44 on Aer Arann and Ryanair flights.

It is asking retailers to tell consumers upfront about surcharges and to absorb smaller costs rather than passing them to their customers.

The OFT found evidence of companies using ‘drip pricing’ where they add on charges after consumers have filled in a number of web pages when purchasing an item or service.

It said it will “take enforcement action” if companies don’t stop these “misleading” practices, reports the Guardian.

Which? even operates a ‘card charges hall of shame’ section on its website, where consumers can check how much the charges could run to.

On page three of today’s Irish Examiner, Ryanair says the fees incurred when booking on its website cover the cost of its booking system.

It also said they can be avoided by using a pre-paid MasterCard.

Read the full article in the Guardian>

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