/ Money, Travel & Leisure

Do ticket charges tick you off?

Am I the only one who gets really ticked off when I get charged for printing off tickets I’ve bought for a concert, festival, flight or event? What’s the biggest ticketing fee you’ve been charged?

Sure, I can get my hands on the tickets quicker and the charge can often be cheaper than delivery costs. But I still find it almost insulting that I have to pay for a service that requires me to use my own electricity and printer ink, while essentially saving a company money on postage and packaging.

It always leaves me feeling like I’ve just had an encounter with Dick Turpin.

Why do we have to pay to print our tickets?

I regularly use self-service checkouts in supermarkets and pack items into my own shopping bags, yet I’m not required to pay extra for the ‘privilege’ of doing that. So why do companies like Ticketmaster impose such charges on customers when they buy tickets and print them off?

Ticketmaster has said the charges for its Ticketfast service – about £2.50 on average – covers staffing and technology costs at venues to read and validate tickets. But its website states that all customers pay a service charge which goes towards access control at venues, regardless of how their tickets are delivered. Commenter Lady Margaretta shared her frustrations on a previous ticketing Conversation:

‘I just bought tickets to an event at the O2 via Ticketmaster website and I’m pretty annoyed because I had to pay £2.75 for their “Ticketfast” service. This basically means I paid £2.75 for the privilege of printing off my own ticket, using my own printer and my own ink.’

Ticketmaster is, of course, not the only company that charges its customers to print tickets. Ryanair charges £6 to check-in online and print boarding cards. Anyone who forgets to print one faces a £60 fine for a replacement at the airport. Ryanair said its passengers agree to check-in online and print boarding cards, which lowers handling costs and fares.

Call for transparent ticket costs

I understand that companies have to cover their costs, but it’s bad enough when you get hit by card surcharges without having to deal with this as well. With most firms, the price you see is the price you pay, so why can’t ticket charges be more transparent?

We’d like to see all mandatory charges in the headline price, which we’re on the road to achieving with credit and debit card surcharges. So, don’t be shy, do extra ticket charges tick you off as much as they do me?

Would you prefer it if all charges were included in the headline ticket price?

Yes (94%, 299 Votes)

I don't know (5%, 15 Votes)

No (2%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 320

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FYI we’ve published a debate about secondary ticketing sites like GetMeIn if you want to join in: https://conversation.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/buy-tickets-secondary-ticketing-viagogo-getmein-ebay/

Kitty Fisher says:
11 August 2014

The tales above are as nothing compared to the rip off from Encore Tickets. They added a whopping 26% to each of the 4 £65 tickets my friend got to see Thriller Live! – charging us £82 for each ticket. Then they had the nerve to say they were regulated by STAR (Secure Tickets from Authorised Retailers) and buying tickets from them was safe!!

Do NOT buy your tickets from Encore unless you have money to burn.

BobbyEssex says:
2 April 2015

The answer is simple to this “Great Highway Robbery” Just contact your local Trading Standards Office and Complain!!!

If they get enough complaints on one subject, they have to investigate, and issue a response.

So come on COMPLAIN and get these Robbers charges exposed!! Otherwise their next charge/fee will be a Breathing one, or a Booking in daylight charge, you get my drift??

WSSLondon says:
22 June 2016

Frustrating that this is still happening in 2016! Second time I’ve bought tickets and seen this laughable ticketfast fee which apparently is made up of a 2.75 “order processing fee” – that is on top of the 2.95 I paid as a “booking processing fee”. All to print my tickets at home, which other agents allow me to do for free. Just complained to Trading Standards, but considering that people have been complaining for at least two years I don’t hold out much hope….


If you get the tickets posted, you often face the same charge (which makes no sense as it cannot be the same cost to them). Plus, you get charged the same amount for each ticket they put inside the envelope (again, it cannot cost £3 to send one ticket, but £6 to send two tickets in the same envelope, or £9 for 3 etc.)

They already charge a “booking fee” – irrespective of whether you book online through an automated system or over the phone (again, those costs cannot be the same).

Worse still, they hold back tickets and move them onto their resale websites (they own a few of them) so that they can charge more.