The European Consumers’ Organisation (BEUC) is campaigning to have ‘rip off’ surcharges banned across Europe. So it’s over to Monique Goyens, director general at BEUC, who tells us how they’re getting on.
We’ve all been there: you’re finalising flights online for that weekend away in Rome, maybe the family holiday to France, perhaps a study trip to Edinburgh or a sports weekend in Dublin.
Delighted with the advertised flight price, you come to the payment screen. That’s when you get a nasty shock. To use your credit or debit card will cost you £9 (or €11) per person per leg of the trip. After doing the maths for a family of four, that’s breakfast in the hotel cancelled. Maybe the holiday itself is no longer affordable.
End excessive surcharges in Europe
All across Europe, the insidious practice of applying excessive charges when you pay by card has taken off as high as the planes.
But thanks to Which? and its supporters, the government finally banned companies from applying excessive surcharges in the UK from 6 April this year. Following Which?’s surcharges campaign, we at BEUC are advancing towards eradicating these surcharges across Europe.
At BEUC, we ultimately want to see all surcharging gone. But airlines are the worst culprits, so we’re campaigning for excessive surcharges to be banned for all airlines operating from all EU countries and for all consumers across Europe. It is unconscionable that airlines commonly charge between €6 and up to €14 to pay with a credit or debit card when booking flights.
How BEUC is getting started
To stop these practices, we have written to the Association of European Airlines and the European Low Fares Airline Association asking them to examine and change their ways. We hope to get rid of one of the real consumer headaches for all of Europe’s 500 million consumers.
Airlines should take it upon themselves to include all payment means costs in the headline price, if any; offer a choice of inexpensive and widely used payment services and where payment fees are allowed under national laws, limit them.
Which? Conversation provides guest spots to external contributors. This is from Monique Goyens, director general of BEUC. All opinions expressed here are Monique’s own, not necessarily those of Which?