British Airways has confirmed it will levy a £4.50 fee on all credit-card bookings of economy fares from March 1.
The fee already applies to bookings through ba.com, but the carrier has not added it to bookings by travel agents and tour operators through global distribution systems (GDSs) until now.
BA said it only recently became possible to add the fee to a GDS booking, but that it had made clear it intended to bring GDS credit-card fees in line with ba.com when practicable.
A BA spokeswoman said: “It is purely a recovery fee. It’s the merchant fee we pay and we have been absorbing it until now. This has been expected for some time.”
The fee will not apply to premium bookings, a move welcomed by corporate travel companies. The spokeswoman said: “The margin in economy is much lower and we need to pass on the fee.”
BA declined to disclose the proportion of economy bookings made with credit cards, but described it as “substantial – especially on corporate bookings”.