Budget airlines in Europe have become renowned for all of the small extra fees they charge in order to bulk up the price of the ticket. Flybe have recently made the announcement that they are going to be getting rid of the debit card fees associated with booking a ticket, which currently cost nine pounds.
The issue of charging for paying on a debit card has been a significant problem in the industry and the OFT has even considered pursuing the companies who charge these fees in court. Flybe was actually one of the companies that pioneered the idea of charging people for all the extras associated with flying, in order to reduce the price of the basic ticket.
Until the charge was removed, it was estimated that the airline were earning around five pounds for each passenger who was flying. Andrew Strong, the head of the airline recently commented in an interview, “This is a straight removal of the fee, we aren’t going to be introducing extra charges elsewhere, or increasing the price of the ticket. We think that this is fair to our customers and it means that we are offering a better product than other budget airlines in Europe.”
Six years ago the company started charging people for baggage and in that six years the amount charged has risen by 600 percent. This is not the fee they are looking to get rid of and has not been the subject of any scrutiny by the OFT.
Other companies operating in the sector, Ryanair and easyJet, have said that they do not have any plans to remove these card charges, and they commented that if customers purchased the prepaid card associated with the airline, they will not have to pay these fees. The airlines claim they cover administrative costs.