Ryanair flies under Swedish card fee prohibition

Airlines Ryanair and Norwegian can continue to charge fees to customers who purchase airline tickets with bank cards, despite new Swedish regulations forbidding the practice.

Ryanair flies under Swedish card fee prohibition

According to the Swedish Consumer Agency (Konsumentverket), both airlines are exempt from the rules, which came into force on August 1st, because the head offices of both airlines are located outside of Sweden.

“The new legislation is good, but unfortunately we’re forced to observe that certain companies can continue to charge fees for credit card purchases by referencing laws in another country,” consumer ombudsman Agneta Broberg said in a statement.

“For consumers it can be hard to understand when fees can be charged and not.”

The law stipulates that vendors aren’t allowed to charge a fee for certain payment methods, including debit or credit cards.

The law also includes cases when sellers charge a fee for paying with a card, while foregoing any charges for customers who pay with cash or via internet banking. Nor is it allowed to charge consumers for using a certain type of credit card.

Ryanair has called what its customers pay an ‘administration charge’, which is levied on purchases made with any card other than a MasterCard Prepaid.

The Consumer Agency has already singled out three travel companies, Mr Jet, Tavel Store, and Wizz Air, which it accuses of continuing to charge bank card fees even after the new rules came into effect.

Each company has until September 22nd to respond to the agency’s criticism.

But the head of Mr Jet, Didrik von Seth, complained that the rules are unfair.

“Companies which don’t have their operations based in Sweden can continue,” he told Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

“The question is how the Consumer Agency is going to react so that those who operate here (in Sweden) aren’t discriminated against and are a competitive disadvantage.”

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