A flight to Adelaide cost almost as much as a return trip to London in the first week of April this year.
The direct flight from Perth to Adelaide from April 4-7 will cost an eye-watering $1754 with Virgin Australia, while flights to London on the same weekend are $2031 with the same airline.
With Qantas, the Perth-Adelaide return flights would cost $1165 return.
The weekend of startling airfare prices is due to the AFL’s Gather Round.
After the roaring success of the round’s initial year, flights are now three times more expensive than they usually are.
Even those seeking more of a bargain would have to fork out a whopping $1122 with Virgin Australia for the cheapest flight option – which would see you miss the entire Thursday night game and leave on Sunday before any of the games had even begun.
The $1165 Qantas flights are the cheapest available if you did not want to miss out on the first match on April 4.
The cost of flights between Sydney and Adelaide have almost reached the same price as flying to London ahead of the AFL Gather Round in South Australia. Pictured are Port Adelaide AFL fans
Virgin Airlines justified their prices in a statement and said more seats would be available than the number of fans who flew to Adelaide for the Gather Round last year.
‘As the official airline of the AFL, Virgin Australia is committed to helping footy fans get among the action at this year’s Gather Round,’ a spokesman for Virgin Australia said to Seven News.
‘In 2023, we flew more than 60,000 guests to and from South Australia during the week of the event, and this year we have more than 70,000 seats scheduled to and from Adelaide from April 2-9.
‘Fares booked during peak periods like school holidays and around major events tend to be higher than the average fare, in line with the reduced number of available seats.
‘However, there are still great value fares for fans wanting to get to Adelaide for this year’s Gather Round, including Melbourne-Adelaide from $143 (one-way, economy lite) and Sydney-Adelaide from $149 (one-way, economy lite).’
He continued: ‘Where possible, we encourage guests to book early to secure the best possible price.’
Qantas also justified its reasons for the expensive flights, citing demand.
‘We’ve seen very high demand into and out of Adelaide around 4 and 7 April as fans travel to the footy,’ he said.
Prices to Adelaide have skyrocketed due to high demand with one airline claiming it ‘flew more than 60,000 guests to and from South Australia during the week of the event’ last year
‘As is always the case, the lowest fares on any airline sell the quickest and we saw a huge spike when Adelaide was selected to host this round.
‘More than half of customers travelling between Adelaide and Perth during this period booked their flights for under $411 one-way, taking advantage of sale or lead-in fares and reward seats.
‘We’re looking at options to add more flights to help customers get to and from Adelaide during this time.’
The Gather Round is ‘a festival of footy’ featuring all 18 teams and nine matches for premiership points, including two games at Mount Barker to showcase Adelaide’s food and wine.
It is a family-friendly weekend held on school holidays, compounding the event’s immense popularity.