Following the implementation of new credit card processing rules in Europe, Ryanair was recently fined $520,000 by Italy’s competition watchdog for adding a two percent processing fee for certain credit card payments.
The company was accused by Italy’s competition authority of failing to honor its commitment to online ticket sales. Rules in Italy require prices to be “clearly and fully indicated from the very first contact with the consumer,” compared to the U.K. standard in which fees associated with payment cards are to be based on the actual associated cost to sellers.
Ryanair said it will fight the “unfounded decision by the Italian competition authority.” Carlo Rienzi, the president of Italian consumer protection authority Codacons, said the “commission costs for buying with credit cards are very high and are kept hidden by some airlines until the last moment.”
“It seems that there’s a general distaste in Europe at the moment for what are perceived to be unfair charges for using credit, debit and prepaid cards,” a spokesperson for CompareandSave.com, a U.K.-based price comparison website, said. “Clearly businesses in the travel sector are bearing the brunt of that frustration at the moment, but they are certainly not the only offenders.”