Football fans cry foul as cost of Champions League flights and hotels skyrocket

Spurs striker Harry Kane shows his delight just 24 hours after Liverpool were celebrating a Champions League win. Credit: PA

Football fans are crying foul over skyrocketing prices after Spurs booked their place in an all-English Champions League final against Liverpool.

Tens of thousands of supporters are scrabbling to find flights to Madrid and hotel rooms that won't cost the earth for the final on June 1.

Some airlines have been accused of profiteering - while hotel owners have upped prices by hundreds of euro as the city braces for an English invasion.

A quick online search by ITV News reveals there are no direct flights out of Liverpool on May 28 or 29, and only very limited options on May 31 - with prices at more than £1,300 and the need to take several different stopovers along the way.

A search of Skyscanner shows prices of flights from Liverpool have ballooned. Credit: .

Liverpool mayor Steve Rotherham has accused easyJet, which operates out of the city's John Lennon Airport, of exploiting football fans - something the airline denies.

He said he'd seen prices hiked by 683% which is "quite simply profiteering from the passion of football fans".

Skyscanner search reveals how much cheaper flights are for this weekend out of Liverpool. Credit: .

He added in a tweet: "This is nothing new but entirely shameful."

Scores of fans took to social media to complain that flights costing a couple of hundred pounds now were priced at double or triple that nearer the final date.

Many others railed against the "rip-off" prices of hotel rooms that were also showing as soaring nearer the final weekend.

EasyJet responded by saying it - and all airlines - did not artificially inflate prices around sporting events.

A spokesman 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 do not artificially increase ticket prices around sporting events, prices are led by a strong demand for some flights due to convenient scheduled flight times.

"We believe our fares remain competitive in comparison to other airlines flying around the same time."

An easyJet plane taxis on the runway at Liverpool's John Lennon Airport. Credit: PA

Looking online on Thursday, Spurs fans appear to have more choice - and better prices - on flights out of the capital, although rates are creeping up by the hour.

Flights from London leaving this Friday, May 10, start from £155 - but by May 31, that has climbed to £268.

And it's not just getting there that's getting very, very pricey - hotel rooms are soaring the closer you get to the June 1 final.

Cheap and cheerful - get a 4-star room for 2 nights in Madrid from £295 Credit: .

A search on travel site Trivago reveals a selection of 4-star hotel rooms for two nights this weekend starting from as little as £295.

But fast-forward three weeks and that's climbed to £1,465 for a similar two-night stay at a four-star hotel.

Nearer the June 1 final, prices soar for a 2-night stay to £1,465. Credit: .

Travel expert Simon Calder said fans of both clubs should try to get a little more inventive in their plans.

He said one option could be for a fly-drive to Biarritz or, rather than looking to fly direct to Madrid, he suggested fans should explore flights to Barcelona or Malaga, for example, then catching a train to the city.

A hotel stay might also be more affordable if they looked outside Madrid.

Similarly, look for flights from Manchester or other cities into Spain.

Calder added that Thomas Cook Sport had sourced some additional aircraft and was offering Spurs and Liverpool fans with tickets to the final a special deal for £599 per person.

Those flights were likely to vanish within a few hours, though.

Fans with weddings planned for the final were making hasty arrangements to try to incorporate it into the day - or even to potentially postpone their (other) big day.

One radio show phone-in caller was even advised to consider disappointing his bride-to-be.

Paul, a Liverpool fan, told Alan Brazil on TalkSport he had supported the Reds since the age of eight but had only known his future wife for three.

"You've answered your own question, then," he was told.

  • Ticket allocation for Liverpool and Spurs

UEFA has allocated just over 16,000 tickets each to Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hostpur, so demand will be high.

The Estadio Metropolitano in Madrid holds almost 68,000 and fans of both clubs have been urged not to travel to the game unless they have a match ticket.

Liverpool price bands are:

Category 1: £513 (£410 restricted view)

Category 2: £385 (£308 restricted view)

Category 3: £154 (£120 restricted view)

Category 4: £60

Spurs have yet to confirm pricing for their allocation.

Season ticket holders usually get priority. In Liverpool's case, those fans who have followed their side home and away in at least seven Champions League fixtures will be at the front of the online queue to purchase tickets for the final.

It's not yet known how Spurs will prioritise their allocation but it's likely to be a similar arrangement.

But given there are about 25,000 season ticket-holders at Anfield and about 42,000 at Spurs, many, many fans will miss out.

UEFA has warned supporters secondary ticket platforms and third parties are not licensed to sell final tickets so they likely to be refused entry.