Qantas said today that it would introduce a one per cent surcharge on credit card transactions from the beginning of April.
This decision follows reforms introduced by the Reserve Bank of Australia that came into effect on 1 January, 2003.
John Borghetti, Qantas Executive General Manager Sales and Marketing, said that credit card merchant fees were a significant and increasing cost to Qantas.
“We will continue to absorb significant costs from credit card merchant fees,” Mr Borghetti said.
“This nominal, one per cent surcharge will recover less than half the cost of credit card merchant fees charged to Qantas each year.
“We simply cannot continue to absorb the increasingly broad range of charges imposed on our business at a time when domestic air fares are at historical lows.”
Last week, a study by the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics found that Australia`s discount domestic air fares had not risen in real terms since the collapse of Ansett and were about 23 per cent cheaper than they were three years ago.
“Qantas also competes with about 40 international airlines in the global aviation market - one of the toughest markets in the world at the moment,” he said.
Mr Borghetti added that Qantas customers had a range of options to purchase their tickets.
“People can walk into any of about 4,000 travel agents around the country and pay for their tickets with cash or a cheque,” Mr Borghetti said.