Virgin Australia online fee

By Rod H | Feb 22, 2019, 07:50 AM

On line booking fee.

How on earth can VA charge $11 when one books and pays for a flight online?

How else can it possibly be done!!!

If you go to a Travel Agent they have to Book Online.

If you go into a VA office they still have to do it on line.

If you phone a Customer Care Ctr. they do it on line.

It's all done by computer so it must be that all bookings are done on line.

Given that there does not seem to be any other way how can this ridiculous fee be permitted.

Seems like a bit of gouging to me!

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By sid | Feb 22, 2019, 08:00 AM
Where are you seeing this? Can you post a screenshot?
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By Brandon Loo | Feb 22, 2019, 08:29 AM
Both Virgin and Qantas do this unfortunately - it's a 'card payment fee' to supposedly cover the cost of debit and credit card transactions.

VA: 0.996% per passenger for credit card, 0.422% per passenger for debit card, capped at $11 for domestic and $70 for international.

QF fees: 1.01% per passenger for credit card, 0.38% per passenger for debit card, capped at $11 for domestic/Trans-Tasman and $70 for international

Fee-free options include POLI and credit vouchers for both airlines, plus BPay for QF.
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By Rod H | Feb 22, 2019, 08:42 AM

Thanks for the info Brandon.

Boy , they don't miss wringing out the last cent do they?

Very few customers would have access to the Fee-Free options.

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By ChrisCh | Feb 22, 2019, 10:34 AM
Card payment fees are one thing, but try booking a flight with Regional Express (REX) - they levy both a 'Payment Method Surcharge' (which for some cards is 3x the price that Qantas and VA are charging), but also whack on a separate percentage-based 'Booking/Handling Fee' to all online bookings. On top of that, the percentage rates they quote to customers are exclusive of GST, not inclusive.

Unlike the other airlines, REX does not offer any fee-free alternatives like BPAY, so the only way to avoid the Payment Method Surcharge is to physically go to their office with cash or a cheque, which makes the Payment Method Surcharge unavoidable for online bookings. The Booking/Handling Fee is also unavoidable, and like the Payment Method Surcharge, is only added onto the ticket price later during the booking process.

As such, REX customers can never actually pay the price they're first quoted on the screen, because it excludes two 'compulsory' fees and also the GST of those fees, all of which are added in later.

How that's not 'drip pricing' is anybody's guess, but by comparison, it makes Qantas and VA look very good, ha!
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By nix584 | Feb 22, 2019, 11:31 AM

On line booking fee.

How on earth can VA charge $11 when one books and pays for a flight online?

How else can it possibly be done!!!

If you go to a Travel Agent they have to Book Online.

If you go into a VA office they still have to do it on line.

If you phone a Customer Care Ctr. they do it on line.

It's all done by computer so it must be that all bookings are done on line.

Given that there does not seem to be any other way how can this ridiculous fee be permitted.

Seems like a bit of gouging to me!

If you go into a TA they do it through GDS.
There are no VA offices.
If you call the call centre they do it through their booking system.
Only the public book online.

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By Stuart Jackson | Feb 22, 2019, 11:43 AM
Card payment fees are one thing, but try booking a flight with Regional Express (REX) - they levy both a 'Payment Method Surcharge' (which for some cards is 3x the price that Qantas and VA are charging), but also whack on a separate percentage-based 'Booking/Handling Fee' to all online bookings. On top of that, the percentage rates they quote to customers are exclusive of GST, not inclusive.

Unlike the other airlines, REX does not offer any fee-free alternatives like BPAY, so the only way to avoid the Payment Method Surcharge is to physically go to their office with cash or a cheque, which makes the Payment Method Surcharge unavoidable for online bookings. The Booking/Handling Fee is also unavoidable, and like the Payment Method Surcharge, is only added onto the ticket price later during the booking process.

As such, REX customers can never actually pay the price they're first quoted on the screen, because it excludes two 'compulsory' fees and also the GST of those fees, all of which are added in later.

How that's not 'drip pricing' is anybody's guess, but by comparison, it makes Qantas and VA look very good, ha!

You are 100% correct in your info on this point Chris. Think about it this way though Rex's extra booking fees don't even come close to the extreme price gouging that Qantas is guilty of on Australian regional routes!. I recently saw a $600+ SYD-DUB fair for Jan 25 this year! I'll happily pay Rex's booking fee thanks.
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By Ourmanin | Feb 22, 2019, 02:08 PM
Out of interest do they still charge this if you use a 'Qantas' credit card? I used to have a BA issued amex back in the day and it irked me no end when they charged you for using 'their' credit card.

This is clearly a profit centre for them, because most people will use a credit card (frankly you would be daft not to when buying anything online) and there is no way they are paying 1% as a fee for processing to their transactional bank.
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By stmaus | Feb 22, 2019, 04:10 PM
VA's credit card fee is reasonable and reflects the cost to them of processing the payment. They do give you non-fee payment options. It's less than QF. I don't see what is the problem.
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By Ourmanin | Feb 22, 2019, 04:46 PM
VA's credit card fee is reasonable and reflects the cost to them of processing the payment. They do give you non-fee payment options. It's less than QF. I don't see what is the problem.

If VA are actually paying their bank (or technically merchant service provider) virtually 1% as a fee then they are the worst negotiators in the corporate world.
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By ChrisCh | Feb 22, 2019, 04:57 PM
VA's credit card fee is reasonable and reflects the cost to them of processing the payment. They do give you non-fee payment options. It's less than QF. I don't see what is the problem.

If VA are actually paying their bank (or technically merchant service provider) virtually 1% as a fee then they are the worst negotiators in the corporate world.

Airlines as an industry generally incur higher credit card processing fees than retail stores because by nature, the risk of fraud with airlines is higher (people using fraudulently-obtained credit card numbers to book and fly immediately, before the real cardholder realises, or to book tickets while pretending to be a 'travel agency' and pocketing cash from a paying client, who ends up being the one wearing the cost), and on top of that, most transactions are processed as 'card not present' (so you only need the card info, not the physical card).

Airlines also see a higher share of 'premium', 'super-premium', business, corporate, and international cards, which also all attract higher processing fees.

As well, when an airline goes bankrupt, most airlines just tell customers who bought tickets to request a chargeback from their credit card provider, so the card provider or card network ends up eating the costs if they can't be recovered from the defunct airline (or can only be partially recovered), and that risk is factored into the equation when determining processing rates.
Last edited by ChrisCh at Feb 22, 2019, 04.57 PM.
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By markathome | Feb 26, 2019, 09:04 AM
I was a little horrified too at the Virgin fees ($11.51 in my case). Use CashBack or ShopBack to recoup a little of it (the former always work though often refunds less than the full fee). Still given Virgin's recent financial performance, you might find that $11 is the best money you've ever spent given history suggests credit card holders are more likely to get their money back in event of financial collapse than POLI/debit users.
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By brinkers | Feb 26, 2019, 12:01 PM
Both Virgin and Qantas do this unfortunately - it's a 'card payment fee' to supposedly cover the cost of debit and credit card transactions.

VA: 0.996% per passenger for credit card, 0.422% per passenger for debit card, capped at $11 for domestic and $70 for international.

QF fees: 1.01% per passenger for credit card, 0.38% per passenger for debit card, capped at $11 for domestic/Trans-Tasman and $70 for international

Fee-free options include POLI and credit vouchers for both airlines, plus BPay for QF.

Until quite recently, they were both charging around 1.3%. It was interesting that they both reduced their fees a similar amount at a similar time!
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By JJJJJJJ | Mar 07, 2019, 11:19 PM
I thought it was now illegal to pass on bank charges unless you are actually paying that much to the bank... and don’t tell me QANTAS we’re unable to negotiate a better deal...
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By melb_matt | Mar 13, 2019, 03:09 PM
If booking with an AMEX card then I've found the AMEX Travel website to be a good way to circumvent booking fees. Always double check, but in my experience the price is identical, just without the credit card fee. I only tend to book direct on the VA site if using one of those 10% off promo codes (in which case the discount offsets the CC fee...)
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