EasyJet has introduced a new flat rate £9 admin fee, which came into effect on January 12th.
The new fee will be applied to all bookings and is displayed as part of the final fare on the first stage of the booking process, as well as in all advertising and the move, says Easyjet, is to “make booking flights with the airline even more transparent”.
The good news is that the £9 admin fee applies just once – regardless of the number of flights purchased in the booking – so anyone making two or more bookings will pay just £9. According to the no frills airline, “the overwhelming majority of its customers book multiple flights or flights with multiple passengers”.
Passengers paying with credit cards will continue to be charged a fee in addition to the flat rate admin fee, but debit card payments are free of charge (just the £9 fee will apply).
The move has been welcomed by those who have been objecting to “surprise” fees at the end of a lengthy bookings process and EasyJet’s new system reflects a more transparent, upfront method of displaying fares which will help travellers estimate the cost of their travel upfront.
Previously, however, EasyJet charged an £8 booking on the “payment page”, and anyone using Visa Electron to pay was not charged. Now, Visa Electron payments will be subject to the £9 flat fee. The fee will show up at the beginning of the booking process.
EasyJet said: "Following its consultation with the OFT and other European Regulators Easjjet has decided to phase out Visa Electron as a free payment option from January 12, 2012. As fewer banks are now issuing Visa Electron across Europe fewer consumers were able to use this payment method. The majority of our customers will therefore be unaffected by this change.
The move follows an announcement by the UK Treasury late last year that it plans to ban excessive charges on purchases made by credit and debit cards, something being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading.
Ryanair currently charges a £6 per person, but this is “per leg” not per booking.