Airlines defy RBA over credit card fees

Australia's airlines are continuing to hit customers with inflated credit card surcharges reports the Sydney Morning Herald, despite the Reserve Bank introducing reforms last year to curb the fees that airlines were charging for credit card bookings.

Since the reforms were announced, Qantas is the only carrier to have reduced its fees. It now charges a flat fee of $7 a person. Jetstar charges $8.50 and Virgin $7.70 per person.

The RBA reforms enabled card companies such as MasterCard and Visa to limit the fees charged by their clients. CHOICE spokesperson, Matthew Levey told the SMH  that companies are using excessive fees to make money rather than to cover the cost of the transaction and that because the reforms were not enforced by any government regulator merchant behaviour is not changing.

"We've been monitoring for almost 300 days and its clear that noone has the power to enforce these rules," he said.

This sentiment was backed up by Brent Thomas, vice-president of public policy at MasterCard. 

"The whole idea behind the reforms is to create benefits to consumers. We have not reached a point where this has been enforced."