Flight Centre today said it “strongly refutes” the key allegations to be presented in a Channel 4 Dispatches TV investigation to be screened tonight.

The agency chain also said it had addressed the points raised in the ‘Truth about Cheap Flights’ programme.

A spokeswoman said: “We have provided Dispatches with a detailed written response to show that the views and recordings in this programme are not a fair reflection of our company culture or customer experience.

“We are surprised to see from Dispatches’ press release that they appear to have ignored the evidence we have sent them.”

Dispatches’ allegation that Flight Centre has a policy or culture of applying opportunistic or excessive margins to particular customers or demographics is “completely unfounded,” the company said.

“To set the record straight, our shops’ average margin on long-haul flights is 7.9% for customers aged 26-35 and 7.8% for customers aged 66-plus,” the spokeswoman said.

“On an average airfare of £721, this works out to a difference of only £0.72.

“Our consistently low margins and access to discounted flight deals keep us competitive. We are proud that our Lowest Airfare Guarantee enables our customers to secure a better price than that available from our competitors.

“We acknowledge that this programme – which we have not seen in advance – may highlight some isolated behaviour that is against our company policies and ethics.

“We are taking this very seriously and will deal with it immediately to ensure that all our customers enjoy the same high levels of service and value that the overwhelming majority do today.”