Melbourne-based AFL fans are fuming after airlines hiked the price of interstate travel after the schedule for the first week of finals was released.
Fans of the Western Bulldogs, Richmond and Essendon are all facing a 50% increase if they want to fly to Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
The only final held in Melbourne is the first qualifying final between Geelong and Collingwood.
Richmond supporter Brayden Ford was lucky to get in early on tickets before the increase.
“I booked mine before the match time was announced on Sunday, so only $400 return, had mates that booked after the release that paid $600.”
Fellow Richmond tragic Berni Murphy was not as lucky and forked out $500 for the return journey.
“I got the flights within a few minutes of the game details being released for about $500 return from Melbourne,” she said.
“Prices went up a lot not long after and I notice now it’s still affordable to get to Brisbane but really expensive to get home.”
Vice President of the AFL Fans Association Cheryl Critchley, says the AFL needs to hold sponsor Virgin Australia accountable for the increase.
“Virgin is an AFL sponsor, so you’d like to think they would discuss this issue and the AFL would urge them not to charge prohibitive prices during the AFL finals.”
A Virgin economy return flight departing Melbourne to Brisbane on September 7th, the day of the Brisbane vs Richmond clash was priced at $1050.
A Jetstar spokesman said that the price hike was reflective of the increased demand for tickets. Virgin Australia told the Herald Sun that they would consider increasing flights during the finals series to cater to demand.
Fans have taken to social media to vent their anger at the price rise.
— Matty (@MatanSlonim1997) August 27, 2019
Good to see the airlines have already raised the price of flights to Perth for the first final. Will be cheaper to fly via Bali.#aflfinals
— CamHall1980 (@CamHall1980) August 25, 2019
LOL. @VirginAustralia ONE WAY flights to Brisbane for the Qualifying Final $450. What a joke. When are the @AFL and the @acccgovau going to step in? Flights are an essential service; time for regulation
— Mayor Stuart James (@CrStuartJames) August 26, 2019