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Ryanair Customers Face New Card Charges

(c) Sky News 2012

No frills airline Ryanair is to introduce two new charges from Friday but its reason for imposing a credit card booking fee has been questioned by a regulator.

The carrier said it was bringing in a 2% credit card processing fee on all new bookings made from tomorrow in order to comply with a recent Office of Fair Trading (OFT) ruling.

However, the OFT said: "We have not required any airline to introduce new payment charges, increase their credit card charges, or scrap any discounts they wish to offer.

"We took action to make sure that debit card charges are included in the headline price and credit card charges are transparent and not sprung on shoppers towards the end of the booking process."

Ryanair also announced that its passengers would have to pay a £6 administration fee to cover the airline's website costs.

The only exceptions will be bookings made using Ryanair's "cash passport" scheme in Ireland (Xetra: A0Q8L3 - news) , Germany and Spain, where administration fees can be avoided until February 1, February 15 and March 21 2013 respectively.

Ryanair defended the move saying it was continuing to "deliver the lowest fares and a no-fuel surcharges guarantee to all our passengers" and that passengers could avoid credit card fees by paying with a debit card.

On the row over its card processing fee, it released a statement which said: "Ryanair is disappointed, but not surprised, by the OFT’s attempt to distance themselves from their anti-consumer rulings.

"Before the OFT imposed these baseless changes, airlines could partner with card providers to allow their cardholders the exclusive advantage of avoiding such fees.

"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."

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