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OFT criticises Ryanair for sky-high booking fees

Budget airline Ryanair has come under fire from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) over plans to introduce new, higher charges on all bookings made via credit card.

The Irish carrier is being challenged over its reasons for introducing a price hike. Ryanair said it was bringing in a 2% processing fee on all new credit card bookings made from tomorrow. This means that families face paying an extra £50 on top of flights. A typical family of four going on holiday with flights costing around £250, the extra credit card charge is £53 in total.

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said: “To cover our credit card processing costs and to comply with the UK OFT’s recent ruling, we are introducing a 2% credit card handling fee from 30 November 2012.” While Ryanair claim it is helping to beat down costs, the government body rejected this.

A spokesman said: “We have not required any airline to 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.”

This comes at the same time that Ryanair announced it is stopping a concession which allows customers who took out the airline’s own pre-paid card to avoid paying a £6 per flight admin fee. Travellers who own a Ryanair Cash Passport will no longer be exempt from paying the admin fee.

Passengers who pay for a flight with their credit card will have to pay both the £6 admin fee and the new 2% processing fee from Friday 30 November. If you are heading abroad in the near future, either with Ryanair or any other airline, remember to take out travel insurance before you leave.

Date Created: 30 November 2012

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