Travelling to watch your lifelong club play in a Champions League final is often described as a priceless opportunity. However, the reality for both Tottenham and Liverpool fans is much more costly.
With an expected 100,000 fans from both teams combined travelling to Madrid for the final on June 1st prices for both flights and accommodation have soared in the build-up to the game (Mirror).
While EasyJet return flights into Madrid either side of the Champions League can be purchased for as low as £140, for a single flight to Madrid between May 31st and June 2nd, fans can now be expected to pay upwards of £750, with the return flights costing as much as £1500 (Daily Star Online). This has forced fans travelling to the game, such as myself, to seek alternative routes into the Spanish capital.
When speaking to the Daily Star Online the upsurge in flight costs were justified as “demand-led” while airlines defended the prices claiming that they “do not artificially increase ticket prices”.
Accommodation has also risen to unjustifiable prices with travel operator Booking.com listing a shared dormitory hostel for £441 for the night.
The manager of the Open Hostel Madrid, Manuel Rodriguez, blamed the price rise on a malfunction with their booking system.
Talking to the Daily Star Online he said: “Sometimes when there is huge demand, travel websites overbook and the system gets blocked.
“To resolve the situation we raise the price to 500 euros – it could even be 1,000 euros – in order precisely not to rent it out, to solve the situation with the travel websites and to reopen at a normal price.”
What tour operators and hotel managers are justifying as simple supply and demand is, for supporters of both Spurs and Liverpool, an exploitation of their love and dedication to the game.
In response to this Katrina Law, from the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, called for the protection of football fans in these circumstances, claiming that “football fans are being exploited.” (Daily Star Online).
Spurs Web Opinion
With prices sky-rocketing the majority of Tottenham fans that I know who are making the trip to Madrid aren’t flying direct to the capital. While personally travelling via Lisbon, many others have flights via Alacante, Mallorca or are even travelling to Madrid by coach or minibus. As for accommodation, people are forced into staying outside of the capital to avoid the exploitative prices.
While the high demand undoubtedly creates an influx in prices, for the cost to increase by up to 10 times the initial amount is extremely unfair on those fans who travel across the globe to follow their teams.
What’s more damaging is that the outcome of these astronomical price rises does not encourage travelling support to these types of games that would only serve to increase the atmosphere for such a historic occasion.
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