Travel firms raise credit card booking fees


Airline debit, card card fees riseSome travel firms have raised their plastic card booking fees by as much as 600% over the last 18 months, according to recent research by a consumer rights group.

A Which? Holiday survey found that airlines and tour operators were consistently imposing higher costs for credit card transactions.

Examples cited by the study include that of low-cost airline Ryanair, which has increased booking fees from £2 to £5 since the beginning of last year. Meanwhile, travel firms such as Thomas Cook and First Choice are now charging card fees where there were none before.

Lorna Cowan, the editor of Which? Holiday, said: "We understand there is a charge to airlines for taking payment with cards and that this will be passed on to consumers. But how can some of them justify charging over 600% more?"

The financial crisis, which has resulted in increased balance sheet pressures for travel firms, is a likely cause of the fee increases.

Britain has been in recession since 2008, with the economy also shrinking by 2.4% over the first quarter of this year.ADNFCR-2308-ID-19270555-ADNFCR

Published: 20 July 2009