Qantas is offering optimistic WA football fans special fares and more seats in a four-day seat sale for this year’s AFL grand final.
The national airline is also waiving the standard $99 flight-change fee on these fares so fans can put the money towards any other flight over the next 12 months if their team does not make the grand final.
The special fares started from midnight last night and, according to Qantas, WA footy supporters are confident of success this year, with bookings for flights 20 per cent ahead of the same time last year.
The national airline has added six flights between Perth and Melbourne, and will use bigger, 300-seat A330 planes instead of 162-seat 737s on another three flights — adding more than 800 seats in each direction because of demand in the last weekend in September.
About 1000 of these extra seats are available for footy fans for the next four days or until sold out at $349 one-way. Fans who wait until the end of the season to book their seat face paying about $800 one-way.
Qantas Domestic chief executive Andrew David said the Back Your Team sale meant West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers fans could secure a great fare to Melbourne for the grand final but if results did not go their way could travel at another time or go somewhere else.
“By booking well in advance, fans can avoid a last-minute dash to purchase flights and enjoy the season knowing they have locked in a great fare to Melbourne with the option to change their flight in the unlikely event that their confidence is misplaced,” Mr David said.
The problem for fans and airlines is that the grand final week is also a school holiday period, leading to higher fares once cheap seats are gone.
The grand final will be played on Saturday, September 28. The Back Your Team fares are for travel from Perth to and from Melbourne between September 25 and September 30.
Sale fares are also on offer for customers travelling from airports in regional WA and similar offers are being made to fans in SA, NSW and Queensland.
Last year, Qantas and Jetstar added 2500 extra seats for football fans travelling between Perth and Melbourne for the grand final.
Footy fans can back their team by buying tickets in advance on the sale website qantas.com/footyfinals.