I must first explain how this can be an amendment to an existing law.
There is a law which defines 'legal tender'; ie, a law which in effect defines what MONEY USED FOR PAYMENTS IS. Essentially, that means that only MONEY approved by the King is acceptable. My suggestion is an amendment to that law.
A few years ago, airlines sneaked into their on-line booking systems a charge for using cards to pay for booking a flight on-line. At first, the charge was minimal – say, £1. Because the charge was so minimal, they got away with it. But, as is the case with baggage charges, they have gradually increased these additional charges/fees. Below is Jet 2's list of charges for using cards:
How can I pay?
You can pay online using a credit or debit card and also using PayPal – see charges below. For payment via the call centre you can pay using a credit or debit card only. For payment at our sales desks you can pay using a credit or debit card, cheque or cash.
Booking fees A booking fee of 3.5% (minimum charge of 4.99GBP/ 7EUR/ 10CHF/ 180CZK/ 30PLN) will be applied to all card payments except for Solo and Visa Electron which are free. For bookings made using PayPal the booking fee is 3.49GBPQuestions or/ 5.00EUR.
Payment fees Payment made by credit card or PayPal incur an additional fee of 2.25% or 1.5% respectively.
As an example, a person who books flights costing £400 and pays by debit card will incur a fee of £14 (3.5%). A person using a credit card will incur a further additional fee of £9, making a total of £23. That is the cost of paying!
We can understand that the cost of carrying baggage is a reasonable, competitive service, but can the same thing be said about paying the bill? I think that not.
Read the quote above carefully and note that payments made by cheque or cash at sales desks incur no charge. I am not definitely sure about cheques, but I know FOR A FACT that charging for payment in cash IS AGAINST THE LAW.
But we must ask ourselves, is it in anyway possible to pay on-line in cash? Obviously, not. But the serious point is that, as regards on-line payments, debit cards ARE cash – or the equivalent.
We notice also that these demands from airlines are couched in phrases such as 'booking fee'. That is not true. What we are paying for when we book on-line is the ACTUAL COST of being transported from, say, Manchester to Majorca. What the airlines are doing, by using the phrase 'booking fee', is making us pay to pay! This is nonsense!
The Law which defines 'Legal Tender' must be changed to include payment by debit card. Debit card these days is the equivalent of cash. I would say that the same applies to credit cards, but – one step at a time.
I have no doubt that airlines would say in their defence that Banks charge them for internet transaction, but that idea will not wash. The fact is that Banks charge these airlines just as much, if not more, for cash and cheque activity. It costs airlines a lot in terms of staff costs, bank charges, etc to handle cash and cheques. On-line transactions save them MASSES of money.
The Law re Legal Tender needs to be brought up to date.
Why is this idea important?
Once upon a long time ago, there were groups of people, Baron and Lords and such, who were producing their own coins. Unfortunately, some of them were rogues. In simple terms, when they wanted extra cash, they simply produced more coins. The effect of this was that, if the Baron wanted to buy anything that he fancied, he could 'jump the queue' by offering more money to buy it. By doing so, he caused EVERYBODY to have to pay more, and this reduced the actual value of money. The King observed that, as a result, HIS OWN money was becoming worth less and less. And so the King decreed that ONLY HE could issue coins – and thus stabilised the value of money. Thus endeth lesson one (there will be no more!)
I say the above only to indicate how easy it is for big commercial organisations to subvert the law of the land. The phrase 'booking fee' is just a clever way of saying that you must pay to pay. It amazes me that the Government did not step in straight away when the first 'booking fee' was added to the cost of a flight and say to these airlines that 'booking fees', as described, were 'unlawful'. And, if they weren't, then make them so.
Our essential freedom, which needs to be restored, is that our MONEY, whether it be cash or bank deposits, is legal tender. No additional charges for making a payment for a service are lawful.