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Pigs will fly before Ireland gets tough on Ryanair charges

Last week the British Office of Fair Trading ruled that companies would no longer be allowed to charge a fee where customers use a debit card to purchase goods or services.

The OFT calculated that British consumers paid £300m in fees when using debit or credit cards to purchase travel products in 2009. A large chunk of this money went to Ryanair.

Unfortunately the OFT didn't go the whole hog and also ban companies charging customers a fee when they use their credit card to make a purchase.


However, it did stipulate that these charges would have to be stated either immediately below the stated price or no more than "one click away" on the company's website.

Is there any chance of the NCA taking similarly robust action on debit card charges in this country?

It would be nice to think that it might but don't hold your breath.

In the meantime the only way of avoiding Ryanair credit or debit card charges is to use a prepaid Mastercard, the most readily available of which is the Rubycard, which can be purchased through any Payzone outlet.

The problem with the Rubycard is that it costs €9.99 up front and then, depending on which option you choose, will set you back either €6 per month or else 2.95pc, up to a maximum of €2, of the value of every transaction conducted using the card.

You will also pay €3.50 every time you top up your card. These charges could very quickly eat into any savings you make from not having to pay Ryanair's credit charges.

In practice, unless Gerry is a very regular traveller on Ryanair, any savings are likely to be minimal.

Like the rest of us he will probably have to wait for the NCA to follow the example of its British counterpart in about a hundred years' time.

From what Teresa has written I suspect that she has little choice but to pay the bill.

She did attend the clinic and she was seen by a nurse.

While she did leave, it was of her own accord, and the Beacon would no doubt argue that she would have been seen by a consultant if she had stayed.