Ryanair has introduced a new two per cent fee on credit card bookings, claiming that this will allow it to comply with an Office of Fair Trading designed to ensure greater transparency in pricing.
According to the Ryanair website, this can be avoided by using debit cards, including Ryanair Cash Passport Cards.
In an official statement, Ryanair's Stephen McNamara said: 'Ryanair continues to deliver the lowest fares and a no fuel surcharges guarantee to all our passengers. However, to cover our credit card processing costs and to comply with the UK OFT's recent ruling, we are introducing a two per cent credit card handling fee from 30 November 2012. Passengers can avoid credit card fees by paying for the ultra-low fares with a debit card or a German ELV transfer."
However, The Telegraph reports that an OFT spokesman has rejected Ryanair's claim, saying: "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."
"Before the OFT imposed these baseless charges, airlines could partner with card providers to allow their cardholders the exclusive advantage of avoiding such fees.
"As the OFT has removed our ability to help passengers avoid fees through exclusive partnerships perhaps they may wish to pay these fees on the consumers' behalf."
The budget airline already charges an admin fee of £6 per person per flight on all bookings, which covers the costs associated with Ryanair's website. Passengers who pay with a Ryanair Cash Passport have previously been able to avoid paying this, but this is no longer the case.
Other Ryanair charges include a 25p per person, per flight 'ETS Levy', a £2 per person per flight 'EU 261 Levy', to cover the cost of compensating passengers for delays, and a £6 per person per flight Web Check-in fee.
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