Twelve airlines have agreed to wave hidden debit card charges and to include them in the initial cost of the flight. This change will grant travellers more transparency when booking flights online, helping passengers to shop around for the cheapest overall price.
Thousands of holiday-makers will benefit from the new booking policy, which has been adopted by leading low-cost airlines such as easyJet, Flybe, Jet2 and BMI Baby. Until present, such budget airlines have gained a reputation for advertising flights at unrealistic prices, before adding on surplus charges for baggage, booking in and paying by debit or credit card.
Partaking airlines must have discarded hidden debit card charges by 1 August in time for last minute summer holidays bookings. EasyJet, Flybe, Thomas Cook and Thomson have already made the adaptations.
The aim of the ruling is to make it easier for travellers to compare airfares according to the OFT (Office of Fair Trading). The OFT argued that online consumers have the right to know the charges of using their debit card from the start of the booking process.
Airline customers are subject to £300 million in debit and credit card surcharging alone every year. However, in the future holiday-makers may be able to say goodbye to such costs altogether as the Government has revealed proposals to ban high debit and credit card charges. This legislation is due to be followed up later in 2012, but until then current debit and credit charges will continue to be incurred on flight bookings.
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