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21st Feb 2012 2:07pm | By Editor
An incredible £265,000 a day is pocketed by budget airlines charging for debit and credit card transactions according to consumer watchdogs.
Wizzair, Aer Lingus, FlyBe, Ryanair and many more airlines were named and shamed today as new regulations are in the pipeline to ban the practice of making huge profits from charging over the odds for credit card transaction fees.
The practice of advertising low cost flights but then adding several surcharges has been attacked by critics as being dishonest to consumers - but new laws to stop the practice aren't planned to come into force for around 12 months.
This means many airlines appear to be increasing transaction 'admin' fees to take advantage of the practice before it is outlawed. Top of the list of offenders is Wizzair, who charge an incredible £56 fee for using a credit card flights booking for a family of four. The equivilant charge with Ryanair is still a rather shocking £48.
Which? magazine found that many budget airlines had increased they fees since the announcement in June last year that the practice would be unlawful in the future. The actual cost to businesses of processing a debit or credit card transaction is between 8p and 20p.
Spokesman for Which? Martyn Saville said "If companies with to charge those who pay by credit card, the fees should reflect the true cost to the business, rather than being used to squeeze extra profits out of consumers while keeping headline prices low."
An ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) spokesperson said “It is only fair that companies can charge to cover their costs. However, charges should reasonably reflect what these are and be made transparent.”