Whether short or long-haul flights – numerous low-cost airlines advertise with an uncomplicated and supposedly very cheap online booking. Only a few providers can immediately see that cheap offers are often associated with high service costs. There are always expensive surprises, especially with regard to credit card fees.
Both low-cost airlines and traditional airlines often currently charge their customers and passengers credit card and booking fees. The credit card fees are up to 10 USD per flight and generally apply to all common cards. Booking fees for online tickets are up to 15 USD. Up to 45 USD are often charged for the ticket purchase at the airport counter.
Only a few airlines do without these attractive sources of income or enable free payment with certain types of credit cards. Rather, they represent their real costs insufficiently and attract consumers with a very low basic price. It often only becomes clear when the booking is completed or when the invoice is issued which additional service costs are incurred.
The following table provides an overview of the fees for credit card payments at the various airlines. Low-cost airlines such as EasyJet, Germanwings or Ryan Air are reaching deep into their customers’ pockets :
Even if airlines based in the EU have been obliged to clearly display their offers, including all costs, since 2008, this is not always the usual practice. In addition to credit card fees, there are often pre-set travel insurance policies when booking online. These can often only be bypassed manually by the respective consumer.
Since 2010, the airlines have also been required by the German Federal Court of Justice to offer free alternatives for fee-based credit card payments. These are often made possible in the form of direct debit or free of charge for special card types. The alternatives on some online portals of the low-cost airlines are not very user-friendly and user-friendly. A circumstance that a consumer can take action against in the event of a dispute.
Toll-free acceptance of special credit cards and direct debit via online banking are currently among the most common free payment options for airlines. The direct debit procedure in particular is subject to certain conditions. These are set differently by the respective airline. For example, KLM, Ryanair and Germanwings bind the direct debit to a booking period of up to 14 days before the planned departure date. In order to save the fees for card payment, early booking of flight tickets is often essential.
In addition to credit card fees, consumers should also be aware of other hidden costs. The “jungle of additional fees” includes:
As these are not presented transparently enough, especially for online bookings, it makes sense to read the terms and conditions or the cost statement provided carefully before confirming the booking and to carefully check the amount to be paid. Because sometimes the offer and the final price no longer match.