Airlines Charging Credit Card Fees To Customers

Arthur Frommer points this morning to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald about airlines in Australia adding charges for using credit card fees to book flights.

I’ve been wondering when this attempt to push consumers away from credit cards would talk hold in the travel industry. United Airlines is already trying to push fees onto travel agencies, although not yet directly onto consumers. And plenty of retailers outside the travel industry are encouraging customers to pay with debit cards, checks or electronic bank transfers.

In Australia, according to the Herald, airlines aren’t just assessing the fees on consumers, they’re inflating the charge far beyond what credit card processing costs them.

The trouble is that when consumers, caught between the banks and the airlines, give up the convenience of using a credit card they also give up the security that goes with it. You can’t contest a charge against a debit card if the merchant fails to deliver.

Kind of nice for the airlines.

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