Virgin Airline ticket puchase is an International Transactioin

I recently flew from Brisbane to Hobart on Virgin Airlines. We purchased our tickets online as we are forced to do. So the booking was made in Australia for travel within Australia with a company which has a presence in Australia. We noticed that our bank has charged us an international transaction fee for the ticket purchase. Having working in a bank for 25 years, I have a fair idea how it works. It would appear that when you purchase your ticket, the funds seem to be treated as an international transfer and the bank charged us accordingly. I just wondered whether this is a normal practice. We don’t fly much but this seems a bit over the top. Why they dont collect the funds in Australia to an Australian bank account and then remit them to their parent company. This would seem a more appropriate way of doing business from a customer point of view… It was only a small amount($3.54) but this seems an unnecessary process-shifting the cost of sending the money overseas to the customer when they charge a ridiculous booking fee already.


Who is the company you booked with.

There are becoming an increasing number of online websites, including for travel bookings, which appear to be Australian but infact aren’t. They can have a web address and also present information on their websites (like Australian flags or indicate they may be present in Australia by displaying an ABN and a office address which may be an empty desk at a communal office building) but be located overseas somewhere. When they are located overseas, they will incur a foreign exchange transaction fees which they pass onto the customer…or the customer incurs such fees when booking through these sites from their credit/debit card provider or financial instituions.

Such has also been covered by other posts on this forum…

Unfortunately in today’s age of the internet, businesses can be located anywhere even thiugh they appear to be Australian from their websites.

They also ‘prey’ on Australians which tend to prefer booking/buying locally…which is why they create their websites to be deceptive.

It is worth doing some searches to see where the business is located and whether additiinal charges are incurred.


We booked directly through the Virgin website.


We booked a Virgin flight direct from their website last week and didn’t incur FEX charges…used poli payment system.

Do you use a VPN? Maybe the Virgin website recognised the transaction being from overseas through tge VPN and added a FEX transfer surcharge?

Is your credit card one that incurs additional charges…like Amex or it is the standard CC fees? Wonder if the additional fee is a Amex/CC surcharge mislabelled?

Do you have a copy of the payment which may indicate what the fee is?


We paid directly from our savings account(debit card). We did not use a VPN. The transaction shows up on our bank statement directly below the ticket payment. I will have to query why they charged me. Thanks for your replies.


I would be to, sounds unusual and may be a mistake.


I am a little embarrassed. I feel like CNN-jumping in without knowing all the facts- this payment is a fee that Virgin charge for using a credit or debit card to pay for the tickets. I might add this is the only choice you have when you do all the work for them to pay them money for their services and they still charge you for the process. Thank you for your interest. Is it possible to delete the topic or would it still be of some use? Been out of the banking game for a while now so I don’t know whether the bank would impose a fee for a "debit’ card transaction.

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No worries. It is a bit strange the credit/debit card fees were not bundled with the airfares, and appear as a separate transaction in your account.

That’s why I use tte POLI payment system…no additional fees but one needs to have tge funds in ones bank account and be registered for online banking with their financial institution to be able to use it.


yes I thought that to be a bit weird also. Thanks for the advice on Poli. I have been looking at alternatives to paypal.