Football fans have hit out at European budget airlines after observing a massive ticket price hike, following the release of the UEFA Europa League draw.
Travellers attempting to book tickets to Copenhagen, where Celtic FC and FC Copenhagen will play next year during the UEFA Europa League, were shocked to find flight prices had increased substantially from the original cost following a match draw.
In a tweet, one social media user said that within a couple of hours of starting their booking, flights to Copenhagen had increased ten times their original cost with Ryanair and easyJet.
My niece was checking Copenhagen flights at time of draw.
Flights went from £75 to £701 within a couple of hours!!!. Football fans being ripped off is a regular occurrence.
Doesn't matter if it's our Clubs, FA's, airlines or travel firms. Seems we're fair game. Shocking pic.twitter.com/wn64yu2DdD
— Eddie Toner (@eddie_toner) December 16, 2019
Traveller Tommy Welsh said he found his $137 flights had jumped to an astonishing $1150 when trying to fly to Copenhagen. Other users said their flights had increased while in the process of making a booking.
Shame on you @easyJet £240 for flight to Copenhagen … Celtic draw comes out. Jumps to £545.
— Joe Gilligan (@n17jfg) December 16, 2019
— JB (@Jelly93__) December 18, 2019
But fears that football fans were being targeted and ripped off were seemingly put to rest by easyJet.
In a tweet, the airline clarified it operates a dynamic pricing system, meaning the more that customers book or are looking for flights, the more prices for tickets fluctuate.
The airline also clarified in a media statement that it does not “artificially increase ticket prices around sporting events”.
“Prices are led by a strong demand for some flights due to convenient scheduled flight times,” an easyJet spokesperson said.
“As with all airlines, our pricing is demand-led, which means that as more seats are booked on a flight the price will rise, so our fares start low and increase the closer it is to the date of departure.
“We believe our fares remain competitive in comparison to other airlines flying around the same time,” the airline said.
Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair also added its tickets are sold on a “first come, first served basis” that rise only as quickly as the lowest fare class is sold.