Munster fans caught up in 'rip-off' scrum for cheap fares
MUNSTER rugby fans attempting to make travel arrangements to Cardiff for next month's Heineken Cup final have accused airlines of ripping off supporters with exorbitant prices to fly to and from the Welsh capital.
The scramble for thousands of Munster rugby supporters is well and truly under way and travel agents across the southern province have been inundated with requests and on-line booking for flights and ferries is at a premium.
Munster's famed army of travelling supporters who have clocked up considerable expense already this season will bring in excess of 60,000 fans to the Welsh capital for the eagerly anticipated final in the Millennium Stadium on May 24.
However, supporters are going to have to pay through the nose to get to Cardiff.
Denver Morrissey (28), from Patrickswell, Co Limerick, accused airlines of being greedy and trying to make an easy profit from Munster fans.
"We have been to the four corners of Europe following Munster this year and are certainly not going to miss this game, but the airlines are making a killing. They are rip-off merchants," Mr Morrissey said.
"I work as a butcher seven days a week, but we will need every cent we can earn for the cost of this trip," he added.
Last night the cost of a single seat with Ryanair flying Shannon to Bristol on the Friday evening before the game and returning on Sunday was €553.
It is the same figure to go out on Saturday morning and return on Sunday.
The following weekend, a return journey with the same airline departing Shannon on the Friday and returning from Bristol on the Sunday is €120.
A Ryanair flight from Dublin to Bristol on the morning of the game and returning the following day costs €524.
A Ryanair spokesman said supporters were talking about the last few remaining seats available for that weekend.
"There is a limited amount of flights and we guarantee if anyone finds a cheaper flight via the same airports we will refund double the difference," the Ryanair spokesman said.
"It is going to be completely jammers that weekend going to a lot of airports in the UK.
"We are seeing a big increase in demand for Birmingham, East Midlands and Stansted. Demand is very high for those dates," he added.
Aer Lingus has a special service leaving Shannon at 8 on the morning of the game and arriving in Cardiff at 9am with a return journey the next day. This costs a mere €545.