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BA to Bring in Credit-Card Fee for Agents

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New €5.35 charge is latest in long line of revenue-boosting measures.

British Airways has said that it will introduce a new fee from March 1, on all economy tickets that are bought through travel agencies using credit cards. The move is designed to bring third-party bookings in line with online bookings, as a fee already exists on the airline’s website. Around two-thirds of the airline’s flights are booked through travel agents.

“This charge is currently in place for tickets purchased on ba.com, so it will align the payment fee charges across both booking options,” a spokesperson explained. BA’s new fee entails a GBP 4.50 (€5.35) fee on economy tickets. No charges are planned for the use of debit cards. Although its fortunes have improved of late, British Airways has been compelled to introduce revenue-raising measures in response to serious losses incurred as a result of the financial crisis.

Outside advertisers buy space on BA’s boarding cards and promote themselves on its website. The baggage allowance has been slashed for economy passengers and customers now have to pay if they want to select a preferred seat – with an additional charge for emergency-exit row seats, which have bigger legroom. The airline is now pondering the option of charging economy passengers for food and drinks.

Dow Jones

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