Football fans face surge in prices before Champions League final
Liverpool and Tottenham fans are being charged sky-high prices to attend the Champions League final next month.
Non-stop scheduled flights from the UK to Madrid have been hiked to more than £1,300 return.
Most seats on flights from the North West to the Spanish capital are sold out, although easyJet is offering an outbound flight on the day before the June 1 final for £750.
Many fans are booking indirect flights to reduce costs.
From Liverpool, one option costing £587 involves flying via Bucharest in Romania. The outbound journey takes 15 hours and the return takes 21 hours.
Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram expressed his anger at easyJet’s flight prices in a Twitter post.
He said: “Hiking up prices by 683% for return flights to Madrid is quite simply profiteering from the passion of football fans. This is nothing new but entirely shameful.”
EasyJet responded: “We use a live pricing system and when it’s busy many people are booking flights at the same time. This can result in the price of your flight going up while you’re making a booking. You can then choose to accept the price difference before payment.”
Ex-Liverpool player Jim Beglin wrote: “You call it business. The punters call it nothing but pure greed. Profits before people and it’s not just you, your kind are all at it. It’s a disgusting practice.”
Charter firms are offering non-stop flights for around £650 per person, setting off from Liverpool, Manchester and London Stansted on the morning of the game and returning in the early hours of the following day.
Although this option is likely to result in extreme tiredness due to lack of sleep, it avoids the need to book accommodation.
Barely any Madrid hotel rooms are available for less than £1,000 on June 1.
The cheapest room at the Hilton Madrid Airport hotel is £2,301. One week later a room is available at the same hotel for just £124.
Home-sharing website AirBnB – which is often used by tourists to reduce accommodation costs – does not appear to have any bargains for football fans.
One listing, created just for the dates around the final, is offering a room for £645 per night, but most are demanding four-figure sums.
Some supporters who cannot afford to fly may consider driving to Madrid.
Vehicles can be transported across the Channel via ferries or Eurotunnel trains.
The drive from Calais in northern France to Madrid takes an estimated 15 hours to cover nearly 1,000 miles (1,609km).