By Marcus Leach

The Office for Fair Trading (OFT) has ordered travel companies to put an end to hidden surcharges for passengers paying online by card.

Increasingly leading budget airlines, ferry companies and rail networks are charging customers to pay by card, but not until the very end of the process.

Now the OFT has ordered all companies to ensure they make any surcharges for online payments to be made clear from the very first step.

Figures from OFT show that travellers spent a total of £300 million on airline surcharges alone. They went on to warn companies that if they did not comply with the new laws action would be taken against them.

"You can't buy online with cash and people are frustrated about being asked to pay for paying," said Cavendish Elithorn of the OFT.

"We will take enforcement action against any businesses that do not respond to today's announcement and instead continue to use misleading surcharging practices."

The action from the OFT is a result of a super complaint lodged by the consumers' association Which?

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