SIA U-turns on credit card fee for tickets issued in Singapore

Singapore Airlines will not be proceeding with the implementation of the credit card service fee that was announced on Jan 3, 2018. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines (SIA) has decided not to introduce a credit card fee for tickets issued in Singapore, a day after it said it would.

In a surprising and unexpected move, the airline issued a circular to all its sales agents and other business partners to inform them of the latest development.

The circular, a copy of which was obtained by The Straits Times, went out on Thursday morning (Jan 4).

SIA wrote: "Following a further review, Singapore Airlines will not be proceeding with the implementation of the CCSF (credit card service fee)."

No further reason was given for the decision.

The airline first informed its sales agents about the proposed fee on Jan 3.

At the time, SIA said that with effect from Jan 20, a credit card service fee of 1.3 per cent of the total fare amount, capped at $50, would be introduced for flights departing from Singapore.

It would affect only those who purchase discounted tickets - Economy Lite.

SIA first introduced credit card fees in 2016. Currently, they apply to routes departing from Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

The charge does not apply to debit cards.

Credit card surcharges are common among budget carriers, including Scoot, AirAsia, Jetstar and some full-service airlines.

Qantas has a 1.23 per cent charge for all flights out of Australia, capped at A$11 (S$11.50) for domestic and A$70 for international services.

British Airways imposes a 1 per cent credit card fee, capped at £20 (S$36) per ticket.

Lecturer and avid traveller Gary Ho, said: "It seems that every airline wants to become a low-cost carrier in the economy cabin.

"Fares should be all inclusive. Adding surcharges left, right and centre, just makes airfares harder to compare and unnecessarily complicated. Such credit card surcharges goes against the Government's push for a cashless society," he said.

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