OFT boss slams Ryanair charging policy

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has slammed budget airline Ryanair over parts of its charging policy.

In an interview with the Independent, OFT chief executive John Fingleton attacked the practice of levying fees by adding charges to payments made with a credit or debit card. The airline allows customers to book free of charge with a MasterCard prepaid card only.

Ryanair pledged to make its pricing more transparent last year after an OFT investigation.

Fingleton said: “Ryanair has this funny game where it has found some low-frequency payment mechanism and says: ‘You can pay with that’. It’s like taunting consumers and pointing out: ‘We know this is outside the spirit of the law, but we think it’s within the narrow letter of the law’.”

He added: “On some level, it’s puerile, it’s almost childish.”

A Ryanair spokesman said the airline’s model allowed customers to avoid costs, such as baggage charges, which are included in other airlines’ fares.

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