In the past couple of weeks, flydubai has carried out a major re-design to their website and now added a mobile site. The new design is very well done, and they added new features like signing up, managing your booking and checking flight statuses. It really gives a better image and a better user experience.
But that’s not what I want to talk about, because along with all these wonderful new additions flydubai also sneaked in a new charge for paying by credit card. I recently booked on flyduabi (and I usually always regret flying with them not because of the staff or anything, but I just dread going to Terminal 2, it really is a world apart from Terminal 3 or even Terminal 1). But then when I check the prices of the “fancier” airlines I almost immediately cheap out and go to flydubai’s website!
Now after I booked the dates and went through the packages and payment pages, there was a small side widget at the very bottom of the screen with the words “fees applicable” I didn’t notice why it was there at first but then I realized what it was. I was being charged for using a credit card, very cheeky indeed!
Flydubai is actually charging you a surcharge for using your credit card to pay for the tickets online, which is actually illegal in the UAE. I also know from my previous work with clients who setup websites with online payments in Dubai, that both Visa and Mastercard enforce a “do not pass the surcharge on to the customers or else the website will be shut down” law. Basically, merchants are not allowed to charge the end users the 3% they are charged from the payment gateways tp process their payments, however they can re-word it as a service fee or a management BS fee, etc…
Flydubai doesn’t really say a lot about the “fees applicable” other than they are payment fees, and they only appear when you choose to pay by credit card on the website, which at essence should be illegal otherwise the same fees should be applicable no matter how you pay! But I’m not a lawyer, so they might legally be getting away by just calling “fees applicable”!
And in case you were wondering the “fees applicable” on my ticket happen to equal exactly 3% of the ticket value. Which I thought was odd, because with the volume they get on online purchases I was sure that they would’ve negotiated a better deal, right?
But in all fairness to flydubai, the new website and mobile site look great and do present them in a better light than the older website, also the new features are quite useful. And at the end of day its only an extra 3% which doesn’t really add up to much, at least they didn’t stoop down to Ryanair’s cookie monster tactics.
What do you think? Is Flydubai doing something illegal or not? Let us know what your thoughts, or register to receive our newsletter straight to your inbox!