Five questions on: Debit card surcharges


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The Independent Online

What now, even more charges?

Actually the opposite is happening as an extra charge is being scrapped or, to be more correct, absorbed into the price.

That's good news. What extra charge?

It's the surprise debit charge surcharge that many airlines slap on customers at the end of the online booking process. With the charge costing up to £6 per ticket, it's been calculated that surcharging in the airline sector has been costing British passengers around £300m a year.

Who is scrapping it?

Twelve budget airlines are ending debit card surcharging: Aer Lingus, BMI Baby, Eastern Airways, easyJet, Flybe, German Wings, Jet2, Lufthansa, Ryanair, Thomas Cook, Thomson (TUI) and Wizz Air. Another firm, Monarch, scrapped the charge last summer.

That's good of them, isn't it?

They've been forced to scrap the additional charge by the Office of Fair Trading, which acted following a supercomplaint by the consumer group Which?

Does that mean my holiday flight will now be cheaper?

No. The airlines have until December to change their processes. Even then they are likely to add the cost to prices. But at least from then you'll be able to see upfront how much your flight costs with no hidden extra charges.

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