QANTAS Denies Overcharging Airline Passengers


QANTAS Denies Overcharging Airline Passengers

QANTAS is defending its name and reputation by denying it is cashing in on flyers that access their debit or credit cards to schedule flights.

Choice, which is a consumer watchdog agency, says through its research, QANTAS has profited some $100 million each year; due solely from credit and debit surcharges.

In light of this startling information, the Reserve Bank of Australia met today to determine if limits relating to surcharges should be placed on credit and debit card payments which would precisely exhibit factual processing fees.

Choice assesses that within a 14-month period, QANTAS brought in $204 million in profits strictly from surcharges, half of which the airline kept in its private reserves.

Matt Levey, Head of Campaigns, for Choice, stated:

 “Our analysis shows that the Qantas group may be charging consumers at least $100m more each year than it needs under the guise of covering processing costs.”SHONKY Award-Choice-Organization

In fact in 2009, Choice named QANTAS, winner of their SHONKY award, which, according to Choice:

“Names and shames the shonkiest rip-offs and shoddiest products being sold in Australia…”

QANTAS is not the only company under fire for its surcharges.  In fact, the principal grievance aired by consumers is the outrageous card surcharges forced upon them by large corporations, this according to Australia’s Consumer Affairs department and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Currently, QANTAS charges its passengers an additional $7.70 to use a credit card in booking domestic flights and a whopping $30 if you are booking an international flight.  Consumers are more shocked by how the hefty fees apply even if you are only booking a one-way ticket.

Since QANTAS does not disclose specific information relating to its processing fees, Choice reached out to QANTAS CEO, Alan Joyce, requesting clarification surrounding the actual cost incurred for processing credit card payments.


Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO

QANTAS released a statement refuting claims it yields massive income from surcharges:

“Qantas does not collect more in surcharges than it costs us to offer credit cards as a payment option.  We also provide customers with alternatives to using credit cards.”

Choice maintains that their analysis was established from capacity data and monthly traffic, from a 12-month period through February of 2012.

Choice was able to assess the contrast between the dollars spent by passengers for the standard merchant service charge, which is paid by the majority of merchants within Australia; calculating to 0.86% for Mastercard and Visa payments.

Since QANTAS has not released information pertaining to the regularity of one-way flights in contrast to return flights, the calculation was established on industry approximation of 30% to 70%.

When the Reserve Bank of Australia consented to fee structures back in January 2003, QANTAS was among the first of Australian companies to implement credit card surcharges.

Airline credit card fees

  • QANTAS:  $7.70 per person on domestic flights -$30 per person on international flights
  • Tiger Airways:  $7.50 per person, per sector
  • Jetstar:  $30 per person for domestic flights -$40 per person for international flights
  • Virgin Australia:  $4.50 per person, per sector for domestic flight bookings

About Author

Tracee Tuesday

Tracee Tuesday is a travel writer, radio and television personality.Her mission is to inspire, inform and equip you with information necessary to experience the most amazing trips that are fun, affordable and culturally broadening.In her pastime, Tracee enjoys: white water rafting, astrobiology, zoology, traveling, music, horseback riding, and is an all-out foodie.