There's no hiding airline card fees anymore, say OFT
Remember when consumer champs Which! launched their super complaint against airlines and other travel companies for hiding charges from consumers during the booking process? Of course you do!
And remember how the likes of Ryanair - who rely on this type of trumped-up charge to pocket millions - retaliated and attacked Which! in a manner that once again proved you can't have too little dignity in business? Yes, that's right!
Well, guess who won? The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has today ordered all travel companies to make all debit or credit card charges clear from the onset, instead of burying them six pages into a booking form. The government went further, though - it also wants the law changed so that charges for debit cards are abolished altogether.
The likes of Ryanair had argued that the fees can already be avoided by customers if they used a pre-paid Mastercard, but the OFT said that it still meant charges were essentially compulsory - such cards still have to be sourced, ordered and activated before they can be used.
While the action won't necessarily see these charges reduced, it will mean they're included in the headline price of tickets and seats at the beginning of the booking procedure, rather than at the end. The changes are expected to take place within the next six months.
Ryanair has yet to respond to the action; juvenile name-calling and pithy threats will no doubt ensue shortly.