easyJet has replaced its booking fee with a £9 administration charge from today (Thursday).
The budget airline claims that the new flat fee per booking – which applies to all payment methods – will contribute to its administration costs and make the flight booking process more transparent.
The admin fee will be displayed as part of the “final price” at the first stage of the booking process, as well as being highlighted in all its advertising.
The changes follow calls from the UK’s Office of Fair Trading to be upfront about extra charges.
EasyJet’s ‘optional extras’ that are not part of the base airfare, such as hold baggage and speedy boarding can be added on at the next stage of the booking process.
What the changes mean
Until now, easyJet bookings made with a debit card – except Visa Electron – attracted a £8 “booking fee” which was not displayed until the end of the booking process.
Now, debit card payments will be free of the £8 booking fee, but the new £9 admin fee will apply instead.
While the charge is upfront, it represents a £1 increase in the final fare.
For customers paying by Visa Electron – which was previously the only way to avoid its booking fee – the £9 admin fee is a new charge.
easyJet explained: “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.”
Credit card charges will continue to apply in addition to the new £9 admin fee.
Ryanair currently charges a £6 per person, one-way admin charge for credit card transactions.
The charge doesn’t apply if customers use Ryanair’s Cash Passport pre-paid Mastercard. Although customers could be stung with high fees unless they regularly use the card.