Which Australian airline charges the highest credit card booking fees? The answer may surprise you!.
It's not Qantas, which came in for criticism from Choice magazine last year for the highest 'plastic penalty'. In fact low-cost carrier Tiger Airways not only has the highest fees, it charges over twice the price of Qantas. Ironically, Qantas’ low-cost sibling Jetstar has Australia’s lowest surcharge.
Qantas charges $7.70 per passenger for each booking, which means a surcharge of $7.70 for a return flight by one passenger and $30.80 for a booking of four people.
Tiger Airways charges $7.20 but that's per segment rather than per booking. (A segment is one individual flight, so that a Sydney-Melbourne return trip is counted as two segments).
So a return flight by a single passenger on Tiger would attract $14.40 in credit card surcharges – more than double of Qantas’ $7.70 fee – while a group of four would be hit for a staggering $57.60. (The sole exception to this rule is if you pay with an Australian Mastercard Debit card, which doesn’t attract credit card fees, or if you select one of their special promotion "raw" fares.)
Virgin Blue charges $3.50 per passenger and also uses a ‘per flight segment’ model, so a return flight comes with $7 in booking fees for one passenger and $28 for a booking of four people – only a marginal difference compared to Qantas.
Jetstar comes up trumps with Australia’s lowest credit card surcharge of $3 per passenger per segment. That brings the credit card fee for a return flight down to $6 per person or $24 for family of four.