Australian Football League (AFL) fans criticise airlines Qantas and Virgin Australia over airfare prices, as they look to support their squad for the preliminary final in Sydney.
Fans for the Melbourne AFL club Collingwood took to social media to voice their displeasure at the prospect of paying up to $1,000 in return flights from Qantas to support their team against the Sydney Swans at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday to see who will make it through to the AFL Grand Final.
The prices for Melbourne to Sydney sky-rocketed from $100 a ticket to up to approximately $900 for the hour and a half flights after the siren sounded to Collingwood’s semi-final win over Fremantle on Saturday as fans scrambled to book flights.
A spokesperson for Qantas said that the airline would review its schedule to see if it could add more flights in the coming days to possibly bring down travel costs.
However, for the moment, fans and former players were left venting their frustration at airlines as they felt they had ripped them off.
Qantas price gouging for AFL FINALS as much as $1609 one way…. Who’d-a thought 💭
— Loulou2 (@loulouwho2) September 11, 2022
Between cancelled flights, delays, and absurd prices for flights to Sydney now. Airline companies doing no favours for getting the trust of the public back.
— Mason Cox (@masonsixtencox) September 11, 2022
News rubs salt into wounds for Qantas
The hike in domestic airfares couldn’t have come at a worse time for Qantas as over the weekend airline chairman was forced to defend CEO Alan Joyce after criticism was levelled at his reported $287 thousand salary increase in the last year whilst the airline has faced a mountain of flight delays, cancellations and accusations of poor working conditions.
Qantas’s annual report released on Friday showed that Joyce was paid $5.5 million last year, including $2.2 million in cash payments and $3.3 million in bonus shares that could vest in the future if certain goals are met. Meaning on an ‘actual’ basis, Joyce took home $2.17 million, up 15 per cent from last year.
Chairman Richard Goyer defended his embattled CEO, telling the Sydney Morning Herald that Mr Joyce was “the best CEO in Australia by a length of a straight” and affirming to readers in his own words that “believe it or not, Alan has a heart.”