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The end of hefty credit card surcharges! New EU legislation paves way for flights less one costly fee

When booking a holiday few things are more frustrating than being hit with additional fees as we try to secure our break abroad. In fact recent research by Expedia revealed that baggage fees (36%) and booking fees (34%) are among the most irksome charges for travellers planning their dream getaway. However, the good news for holidaymakers is that new EU legislation, which took effect last week, introduces a series of new rules that could help save travelling Brits valuable holiday cash.

This includes the following measures: Eliminating hefty surcharges for the use of credit cards. Firms will no longer be able to charge more than it costs them to process credit card transactions. However, consumers may still be better off paying for flights by debit card as these often don’t incur a charge.

End of pre-ticked boxes. When making online purchases consumers will no longer inadvertently be signed up to additional purchases as a result of pre-ticked boxes. As an example, pre-ticked boxes for flights can include car rental or travel insurance.

Increased price transparency Businesses will have to display the total cost of goods or services upfront. If consumers are not made aware of these charges when placing an order then they will not be required to meet them.

Putting consumers in the ‘driving seat’ Commenting on the changes outlined in the new Consumer Rights Directive, Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner, argued that they were vital to ensure that the power was given back to the people. "Today Europe is putting an end to consumer rip-offs online. As of today every consumer in the European Union can claim his or her rights under the Consumer Rights Directive meaning: no more pre-ticked boxes when you buy a plane ticket, no more extra charges for paying with your credit card online and no more traders telling you that you can't return a good you bought online," she said:

She went on to add: “A confident consumer is the best possible news for our single market. Putting consumers in the driving seat by boosting their confidence is the cheapest stimulus package that Europe can put in place. The European Commission will now rigorously be checking if Member States stick to what they have previously agreed by implementing the rules correctly and grating consumers the rights they deserve." Wherever you are heading off to on holiday, it’s important to organise travel insurance in advance.

Date Created: 16 June 2014

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