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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 June, 2003, 18:12 GMT 19:12 UK
Ryanair bars 'excessive' Amex
Ryanair will impose the ban from June
Low-cost airline Ryanair is to stop accepting American Express charge cards because of what it calls the company's "excessive charges".

The budget carrier will stop taking bookings on the cards at the end of this month.

The Dublin-based company said the move was part of an ongoing cost-cutting exercise.

Ryanair did not disclose what the fees were, but said they were more than twice the rate charged by other credit card companies.

In a statement the group said: "In order to continue to offer even lower fares to consumers and as part of its cost reduction programme, Ryanair will no longer accept the excessive charges levied by American Express.

We regret Ryanair's decision and think that they will too.
American Express
"These charges are substantially higher than those of the other major credit cards."

It added that it would continue to accept other credit cards.

American Express said it regretted Ryanair's decision, and hoped the group would reconsider it.

A spokeswoman said: "We regret Ryanair's decision and think that they will too.

BA row

All the other low-cost airlines see the business benefits in accepting the card and the value that our high spending card members bring.

"Ryanair's action is also not in the best interest of consumers. Our customers want the choice to use their cards to earn cashback or membership reward points and Ryanair has now taken this choice away from them."

Last year, Amex were involved in a row with British Airways over card charges.

American Express threatened to ban customers from using the card to buy BA tickets after BA decided to stop paying fees to the firm when customers paid for flights using corporate Amex cards.

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