“How is that lawful?”: Footy fans furious at exorbitant MEL-BNE airfares

A Qantas aircraft is seen at Brisbane's Airports north terminal in Brisbane, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. Qantas today announced it will axe 5000 jobs in a bid to dramatically cut costs after posting a $252 million first half loss. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING.

Melbourne-based AFL fans could have a tough time getting to the Gabba for the preliminary final match between Carlton and Brisbane as airfares from Qantas and Virgin are sky high.

Following a nailbiter win by Carlton, the Melbourne-based team will be heading to the Sunshine State (along with its diehard fans), but the footy heads won’t be in for a cheap trip. While tickets for the game haven’t gone on sale yet, airfares are up and not looking ideal.

The game will be played at 5:15pm on Saturday and topping the prices is a one-way economy Qantas flight listed at $875 on game day. Return fares with the national carrier (assuming you fly on Saturday morning and return on the Sunday) are, on average, surpassing the $1000 mark. But Qantas is upping the flights to try and meet demand.

“Qantas has already added one extra flight to help more fans get to the clash. Both Qantas and Jetstar will continue to monitor demand for flights closely over the weekend and will schedule additional services if needed,” a Qantas spokesperson said on Saturday.

The cheapest Jetstar return fare we could find were $536 – assuming you take no luggage and don’t mind a 9am flight on the Sunday morning.

The average Virgin Australia fare is also setting travellers back over a grand and some are hitting almost $1700.

Virgin has also added an additional flight for die-hard Blues supporters.

“To help get fans to and from the upcoming preliminary final in Brisbane between Carlton and the Lions, we have put on one additional return Melbourne to Brisbane flight next weekend,” a Virgin Australia spokesman said, according to The Herald Sun.

While the capacity has increased, footy fans haven’t been so relaxed about these prices, taking to Twitter with their frustrations.

Matt Walsh, an employee as ESPN highlighted that it’s cheaper to fly to Tokyo, while Kon Karapanagiotidis, the founder and CEO of ASRC, asked “How is that lawful?”

Code Sports’ Lachlan McKirdy posted on Twitter: “One of my favourite times of the year: Melbourne footy fans learning how expensive airfares are when they don’t play at the MCG or Marvel Stadium every second weekend.

“It’s extortionate. And surprisingly not just because Carlton are playing in Brisbane.”

We’ll just have to wait and see if Lions fans will be voicing the same complaint if their team succeeds on the weekend.

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