Pow! Ryanair's O'Leary fights back against the OFT

18 January 2010

When the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) got all loose-lipped and accused Ryanair's chief executive of "puerile" and "almost childish" behaviour, it was only a matter of time before the Sky Marshall replied. He's now sent his two page response to the OFT via the Independent, who originally conducted the interview with chief executive John Fingleton. Sky Marshall O'Leary accuses Johnny "the fingers" Fingleton of making "inappropriate and inaccurate comments" and "continuing and inappropriate bias" against Ryanair:

"The role of the OFT is not to subjectively comment on the pricing policies of airlines, but to identify and confirm whether those policies comply with legislation. Ryanair's pricing policies are fully compliant with current legislation."

That sounds like O'Leary admitting that yes, Ryanair is taking the piss concerning credit card fees, but only because they're allowed to - if the Office of Fair Trading sorted themselves out and closed the loophole then they wouldn't exploit it, now would they? The Sky Marshall then went on to blast Ryanair's competitors with both barrels, accusing the OFT of failing to take action concerning "three important consumer protection areas", namely:

  • British Airways' "unfair and unjustified fuel levies"
  • websites selling Ryanair tickets "at hidden and inflated prices"
  • easyJet "continuing to offer travel insurance on an opt-out basis"

That's right! Sky Marshall O'Leary and Ryanair - the consumer champions! He's fighting for our rights and- hang on, he's still charging a fiver per person per flight for debit and credit card transactions. Sneaky. You almost had us for a moment, Sky Marshall.

[The Independent]

TOPICS:   Travel   Consumer Advice


  • Mark M.
    as much as I dislike the business practices of RyanAir, he does have a point.. Close the loophole, and instead of a 1p fare with £5 each way credit card fee, you'll have a £10.02 fare, with no credit card fees. Maybe it would work out even cheaper if the loophole was closed, because who wants to have a headline shout of £10.02... £9.99 it is then!!! M
  • Nobby
    I agree, he is a twat but he is right. He is not breaking the law.
  • jones
    Mark - or you could just get a prepaid mastercard and pay 1p? As long as they have 1 free option that most people can get (anyone can get a pre-paid mastercard) I have no problem at all with them putting those charges on bookings. It makes it cheaper for everyone like me who always use the free payment option as the people paying by debit/credit card are too lazy to do research and therefore subsidise us.
  • andy y.
    The OFT were guilty of carrying out their work via a press smear campaign.Which has failed. Watch next how they pronounce of the Sky wholesale rate card. They fuck it up royal ,probably to the extent that Sky don't bid on the next round of FA rights. Once the big TV money dries up 90% of domestic clubs would implode
  • Mark M.
    Jones, you show me a prepaid mastercard that has no fees whatsoever, then that is a true fee free option. The best prepaid mastercard I know of has 2.5% fee...
  • james d.
    Mark M Here ya go http://www.hotukdeals.com/item/574495/newcastle-building-society-free-pre
  • jones
    That card does charge £1.50 per transaction though, I'd recommend the FairFX card. You were complaining a 1p flight would cost £10.02, with the fairFX card fee of 1.5% when you load, a 1p return flight will cost 3p.

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