Customers of Ryanair will be hit with two new charges today, including a credit card fee that it blamed on new rules, which the regulator disagreed.
Controversial airline Ryanair has today introduced two new charges, including a 2% credit card fee that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has taken issue with.
The airline said the credit card charge was being put in place to comply with new rules from the OFT, but the watchdog hit out at the explanation, denying it had “made any airline introduce new payment charges, increase their credit card charges or scrap any discounts they wish to offer”.
“We took action to make sure that debit card charges are included in the headline price and credit card charges are transparent and not sprung on shoppers towards the end of the booking process,” clarified the OFT.
The airline will also be applying a £6 administration fee and says the cash will cover the cost of running its website.
Although the 2% credit card charge can be avoided by using a debit card, you don’t get as much protection as using a credit card if services go wrong go wrong or if, for example, the airline goes bust.
The £6 administration fee can’t be avoided in Britain. Earlier this year, the airline also increased baggage charges. And in the past it has even said it would consider charging customers to use the toilet.
Fairer deal for customers
Last year the OFT announced new rules to stop companies charging customers extortionate last-minute fees for using a debit or credit card that significantly bump-up the overall cost of the transaction.
The regulator said fees should be upfront, included in the headline price and not come as a surprise to customers. Companies have to abide by the rules before the end of 2012.
Hidden fees had been costing consumers an estimated £265,000 a day, according to consumer champion Which?.