ALMOST all airlines now charge you for booking with a credit or a debit card.
Ryanair charges €5 per person per flight for booking with a credit card.
The former national carrier, Aer Lingus, charges €10 per return journey -- this means that it works out at €40 for a family of four.
You can avoid these dirty little charges if you get something called a Visa Electron card.
This is a disposable credit card. You do not physically get a card, instead you get a number much the same as buying credit for your mobile phone.
Visa Europe insists that it does not issue these cards in this country.
It said: "Visa Electron is not issued by banks in Ireland to consumers, this is mainly due to the dominant position that the domestic Laser scheme has held in the Irish market.
"It is not possible for Irish consumers to be issued with a Visa Electron card by a bank in the United Kingdom, as these cards are usually linked to a current account, which can only be set up if you have a UK address -- thereby excluding Irish residents."
However, a financial adviser known to this journalist is adamant you can get a Visa Electron card by logging into www.entropay.com.
This journalist tried it and it worked.
I managed to get a card and load it with €15 using an ordinary credit card.
There is a small transaction charge, around 4.9pc, but it still works out markedly less expensive than paying credit card charges to airlines.