Use our own debit card or pay extra fee, says Ryanair

The budget airline Ryanair is to force all its passengers to use its own branded debit card, or else incur extra fees of almost £50 per family.

From November, anyone hoping to book a Ryanair flight at the advertised price will have to pay using the so-called Ryanair Cash Passport. Only then will customers be able to avoid the £12 per person extra the airline charges to issue a return flight ticket.

At the moment, the fee can be avoided only by using a pre-paid Electron Mastercard. The airline's decision to only accept an even more obscure card flies in the face of a recent order by the Office of Fair Trading to stop the charges altogether.

A 90-day investigation by the OFT found that UK consumers spent £300m on payment surcharges in 2009.

Ryanair justifies its decision by saying that its new card offers free cash withdrawals from some cash machines.

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