EasyJet chief defends decision to raise prices for flights to Champions League final

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Liverpool and Tottenham fans were on Cloud Nine last week after watching their teams defy the odds to reach the Champions League final.

Jurgen Klopp’s side advanced from the semi-finals thanks to a stunning 4-0 victory over Barcelona at Anfield, while Spurs progressed when Lucas Moura’s hat-trick goal in the final minute of stoppage time sealed a dramatic 3-2 win over Ajax in Amsterdam.

However, both sets of supporters were brought back down to earth with a bump when they saw the prices airlines were charging for flights to Madrid around June 1.

It usually costs around £250 to fly to Madrid. In fact, you can usually get flights to the Spanish capital for a lot cheaper than that.

But as soon as it was confirmed that Liverpool and Tottenham will be competing for club football’s biggest prize at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium, flights from the UK shot up exponentially.

Football fans complained to BBC Radio 5 live that flights around June 1 now cost £1,000 - four times more than the usual going rate.

EasyJet are just one of the airlines who have hiked up their prices around the date of the final.

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But despite criticism from fans, EasyJet’s chief executive Johan Lundgren is unapologetic, telling BBC News: “That is actually how the system works”.

Mr Lundgren said the prices were higher than average because there had been an “enormous” surge in demands for flights to Madrid around June 1.

"The whole pricing picture is very dynamic," he said, adding that EasyJet could fill a plane in six seconds at peak booking times, "That's how quickly this goes and this is how the system reacts."

Mr Lundgren continued: "I can understand if people think that the prices are high on this occasion, because it is higher than the average.

"But there's no doubt that this was an occasion where the prices went very high because the demand was enormous."

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He added that 42 million people had flown with the airline over the winter season, with 65 per cent of them paying £50 or less.

The EasyJet chief also added that, in comparison with other airlines, his airline were still offering lower prices.

However, Mr Lundgren’s words won’t bring comfort to the Liverpool and Spurs fans who have been forced to pay through the nose for flights.

As it stands, a flight from Liverpool to Madrid on May 31 will set you back £750 one-way. There are currently no flights available on the day of the final itself, while return flights on June 2 and 3 are sold out.

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For Spurs supporters, EasyJet flights are available on May 31 for prices ranging between £350 and £750. No flights are available on June 1.

All return flights are sold out on June 2, but return flights on June 3 can be purchased from prices starting at £510.

As for other airlines, well, British Airways can get you to Madrid on the morning of June 1 for a cool £709.

You can get an evening flight to the Spanish capital for just £46. Bargain, right?

Well, no. You’ll miss the match if you do that…

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