That's not fare! Price of flights to Poland has already taken off
Published 03/12/2011 | 05:00
IT won't be easy or cheap to get there, but that won't stop thousands from making the pilgrimage.
Irish supporters trying to book flights to Poland this morning will be paying over the odds, in some cases forking out more than three times the typical cost of a flight.
For example, flying with Ryanair from Dublin to Poznan for Ireland's opener against Croatia cost €174.99 last night.
However, the same journey a week earlier was just €61.99 and, once the event is over, fares on the same route fall to only €45.99.
Likewise, flights between Dublin and Gdansk, where Ireland will play another group match, were also massively inflated.
Flying with Ryanair to Gdansk during the championships can cost €144.99, up from €31.99.
Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara insisted the airline was not "hiking-up" prices to take advantage of the popular sporting event.
He said fans had been hedging their bets for more than a month and were snapping up cheap seats to Poland before Ireland even qualified.
He said as the number of remaining seats dwindled, this has pushed up the cost.
"There is no secret that Ryanair fares start at around €10-€15 and go all the way up to a couple of hundred euro on most routes. Until people book these routes, they remain at the lower prices.
"People have been booking these seats since before Ireland even qualified against Estonia. People who travel to see Ireland all the time . . . they will book almost straight away. If Ireland doesn't qualify, they lose €50-€60. That's the reality," he added.
Many will opt to travel to Euro 2012 on packages, which include match tickets. It was unclear last night how much these will cost. however, travel agents said they were finalising their packages and would be offering day trips, over-night stays and longer breaks taking in several matches.
For those who don't already have a flight, the remaining option is to take the long road to Poland -- all 1,935km of it. Taking a campervan with four passengers on the ferry from Dublin to Holyhead on June 8 will cost €270 and another €82 for the ferry from Folkestone in the south of England to Calais in northern France.
Then there are motorway tolls and the cost of fuel to think about -- not to mention the almost 24 hours of driving to get to Poznan.
However, once in Poland, the Green Army can look forward to relatively cheap public transport and a modern rail system that is due to be ready in time for the championships in June.
Driving between Ireland's group games in Poznan and Gdansk takes around four hours and petrol is just €1.26 a litre. However, driving in Poland can be hazardous.