Why are airlines continuing to slug us with excessive credit card surcharges?
Ken wants to know why Australian airlines continue to apply excessive surcharges for travel booked and paid for by credit cards.
I remember signing a petition sometime last year asking Jetstar to drop its credit card surcharge for booking travel online. Why is it (and other Australian airlines) still charging excessive fees?
You are correct Ken, despite efforts by the Reserve Bank, consumers are still being slugged excessive credit card surcharges by airlines, including Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin.
However, there is a flaw in the process as the responsibility for suppliers’ conduct in relation to excessive credit card surcharges is left to Visa, Mastercard, Amex, etc to pursue with banks who process transactions. And while the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has overall responsibility for the conduct of suppliers, it simply refers such cases to the RBA, which actually has no real power to force companies to comply. So, it’s hardly surprising that very little is being done to stop the practice.
While the real cost of processing travel bookings averages around 0.81 per cent for each transaction (i.e. $2.02 on a $250 fare) airlines continue to charge up to $8.50 per person per credit card booking.
We made several attempts to contact Qantas which eventually replied to a post on our Facebook page. As you can see below, it has no intention of reviewing charges anytime soon, as it is charging within the RBA guidelines.
We also contacted the ACCC, but a representative was not available for comment as to the status of any subsequent action.
If you would like to sign the petition calling for Jetstar to drop its credit card surcharge for booking online, visit Change.org.
Or for further details regarding the difficulties faced when trying to hold companies accountable, visit Choice.com.au.
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