By Marcus Leach

Consumer group Which? have increased the pressure on the government to place a ban on all surcharges on online debit card travel purchases.

The Office for Fair Trading (OFT) have previously proposed a change in the law to do away with such charges, which is all that is needed to finish the outdated practice according to Which?

At present the government say they are working on a response to the recommendations put forward.

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

According to the OFT travellers spent £300 million on card surcharges in the airline industry alone in 2010.

Which? claim that a simple amendment to the Payment Services Regulations by the Treasury could outlaw these debit card surcharges.

"With most airlines yet to drop these card surcharges and some introducing new fees, it is time for the government to put a stop to this," said Richard Lloyd from the consumer group.

"A minor change to the law is all it would take to ban the charges on debit cards that you only find out about at the end of a lengthy online booking process."

In reply a spokesperson from the Treasury said they are considering the recommendations.

"The government is committed to working with the OFT to stop retailers, including airlines, imposing hidden surcharges on customers who pay by card," a Treasury spokesman said.

"We are considering the OFT's recommendations and will respond in due course."

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