Ryanair is embroiled in a row with the Office of Fair Trading after imposing a 2% processing fee on credit card bookings made from today (Friday).
The budget carrier claimed the additional charge was being made to cover credit card payment costs.
This is in addition to a £6 administration fee which the airline says covers costs associated with its website.
Ryanair said the 2% fee was being introduced to comply with the OFT’s recent ruling on card payments.
But the OFT disputed the Ryanair claim, saying: “We have not required any airline to introduce new payment charges, increase their credit card charges, or scrap any discounts they wish to offer.
“We took action to make sure that debit card charges are included in the headline price and credit card charges are transparent and not sprung on shoppers towards the end of the booking process.”
Ryanair then hit back and said: “Ryanair is disappointed, but not surprised, by the OFT’s attempt to distance themselves from their anti-consumer rulings.
"Before the OFT imposed these baseless changes, airlines could partner with card providers to allow their cardholders the exclusive advantage of avoiding such fees.
“As the OFT has removed our ability to help passengers avoid fees through exclusive partnerships perhaps they may wish to pay these fees on the consumers’ behalf.”
The airline added: “As a result of the OFT’s meddling, based on a tiny number of baseless claims, these pro-consumer commercial agreements are no longer viable, with the obvious consequence that all passengers now face additional fees.”