Monday, 26 September 2011

Extra fees: how 50 turns into 100

One of the ongoing battles in the field of consumer protection is against low budget airlines and their offers that might often mislead consumers. And so, it has been reported on this blog previously that e.g. Ryanair en easyJet might be forced to make their air tickets' prices more transparable by getting rid of hidden fees (European Commission to investigate airlines' add-on charges to tickets). The issue was commented on broadly since low budget airlines offer cheap priced tickets only to add extra charges later for e.g. consumers using debit or credit card forms of payment. Since these were the only type of payments accepted by the airline, that left consumers often having to pay ca 50 GBP more for family tickets (4 tickets). The new European legislation will prohibit such surcharges on these payment methods (Pay in order to pay - EU intends to ban fees for paying by credit/debit cards) but Ryanair announced recently that only consumers who pay with debit cards will be released from having to pay the fee, and consumer who make use of a credit card will still need to make it (Ryanair is 'dodgy' blasts minister as budget airline tries to get round ban on hidden fees). Apparently there might be a loophole in the upcoming English legislation that leaves consumers unprotected against extra fees when they choose to pay with a credit card for an airline ticket. Hopefully, with the introduction of the Consumer Rights Directive this loophole will be removed.

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