Brighton City’s percentage game
Your recent Airfield Destinations Guide features ‘Brighton City Airport’ aka Shoreham, which I’ve visited regularly for our Warrior’s maintenance, so I’d like to give your readers a word of warning.
I was at Shoreham earlier this year, and I uplifted some fuel before returning to Blackbushe. The airport website and a notice in the ‘C hut’ both say that ‘all payments made by credit card are subject to a 3% surcharge’, so I offered to pay the £242.28 bill by debit card.
Unfortunately that transaction was declined (I don’t know why — when I got home I checked that I’d got enough in the account and that I had used the right PIN). So I had to pay by credit card and was charged £251.00, which is actually a 3.6% increase in the bill. At first I assumed that this was a mistake, but the airport’s business manager, David Brown, tells me that it is deliberate. He says that the credit card companies charge 3% on a bill including VAT, and that HMRC require VAT to be added to the whole invoice.
I’ve asked Shoreham to show the correct figure on their website, but some months later it still shows 3%, rather than the true 3.6% which is the only figure relevant to their customers. I imagine that charging a higher figure than they advertise is illegal. Meanwhile, anyone visiting Shoreham would be well advised to pay their landing fee in cash.