Ryanair blames watchdog for a hike in charges

Marion Dakers
RYANAIR will today introduce two surcharges on its online flight bookings, blaming an Office of Fair Trading ruling for the hike in fees.

The low-cost airline, which has been on the receiving end of several OFT complaints over surprise booking fees, said it is adding the levies after the watchdog’s crackdown on air tickets over the summer.

Ryanair said the two per cent credit card processing fee will be in addition to its £6 per flight fee for all bookings through its website, which will now be included in the headline price.

Both charges come into effect today, four months after a number of other firms altered their online booking systems to comply with the OFT’s recommendations on transparent pricing.

The OFT yesterday objected to Ryanair’s reasoning, issuing a statement to stress that is has “not made any airline introduce new payment charges, increase their credit card charges, or scrap any discounts they wish to offer”.

The Irish airline hit back, slamming the OFT’s planned changes over the summer as “anti-consumer”.

“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,” said a spokesman.