Airlines upfront on online booking charges

A dozen airlines have decided to add debit card charges to their total flight fares rather than including the charges at the end of online bookings.

The carriers, which include popular budget airlines Ryanair and Easyjet, will also clearly declare credit card costs at the start of a customer’s booking.

The changes have come about as a result of an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), and the Government is now considering whether to require all carriers to follow suit.

Ryanair plane
Budget airlines to be upfront about online booking charges

The other airlines to change their online booking process include Aer Lingus, BMI Baby, Eastern Airways, Flybe, German Wings, Jet2, Lufthansa, Thomas Cook, Thomson, along with Wizz Air.

Monarch Airlines, which only charges for bookings with credit cards, changed to include the charge in the headline price last year.

“It is critical that these charges are transparent and not sprung on shoppers towards the end of the booking process,” the OFT said.

Expensive administration fees to be included
Ryanair’s £6 administration fee will also be included in the total cost from August 1, included in the advertised headline rate, and in its online headline rate by December.

Easyjet’s £9 booking fee was also already shown in its advertised prices as it preceded Ryanair’s policy shift.

Eastern Airways, Easyjet, Flybe, German Wings, Lufthansa, Thomas Cook, Thomson  and Wizz Air have also altered marketing and pricing structures.

The changes for the other airlines’ advertised prices are expected to happen within a month ahead of the headline rate change.

Surcharges are still permissible for credit card bookings as it costs airlines more to process payments made using credit cards.

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