A DETERMINED businessman has taken an international airline to court over a credit card surcharge of £2.74 .

The surcharges were abolished in January last year following the UK’s adoption of an EU law.

But KLM-AirFrance continued to charge passengers who paid them with certain cards after that date, including personal American Express cards.

Nigel Roberts, 47, from Manningtree, who is the chief executive of an online business, complained to KLM after he was charged a surcharge last February.

The airline initially dismissed the complaint, claiming the ticket had been bought with a company card.

And when Mr Roberts persisted, KLM then claimed they made an exception for American Express cards.

However, determined Mr Roberts launched legal proceedings taking the airline to court.

KLM claimed in its defence Dutch law, which does not have the ban, applied.

The airline employed a leading firm of solicitors who specialise in defending airlines against compensation claims for delay and cancellations.

But before the case was heard at Colchester County Court earlier this month the airliner caved in.

It agreed it would stop charging for Amex cards and the matter was settled out of court.

Mr Roberts said: “I’m extremely pleased with the outcome.

“I looked at the letter of the law and it seemed clear to me my interpretation was the right one.

“I received an agreed payment which more than made up for any overcharges, but more importantly, the airline has stopped making these charges which I claimed were unlawful.”

A spokesman from KLM-Air France said: “KLM confirms Mr Roberts started proceedings against KLM regarding the legality of applying a credit card surcharge of £2.74 on a booking he made online using his personal AMEX card.

“KLM has established how for legal reasons any charges were not unlawful. KLM settled the claim with Mr Roberts out of court for commercial reasons only and never admitted liability.

“The decision not to apply a credit card surcharge on transactions made by using a personal AMEX card after February 2019 reflects the commercial relationship with American Express and does not reflect any regulatory issue. The decision was totally independent of Mr Roberts’ claim.”