Rugby World Cup price-hikes

SPORTS FANS booking advance plane tickets for Ireland’s first two Rugby World Cup matches in Paris are facing price hikes of as much as 600 per cent.

Compared to flights in the weeks before and after, the cost of Ryanair and Aer Lingus flights to Paris on September 21 and September 30 have rocketed.

Based on the cheapest flights available on their respective websites last Friday evening, a return ticket leaving Dublin Friday morning in time for the 9pm game on Friday September 21 and returning from Paris on Saturday is set at €619.50.

This is 70pc more expensive than the flights available for the same journey a week later, and 195pc more expensive than the previous week.

Ryanair’s €294.99 offer for their flight – also leaving Friday and returning the following day – is a staggering 280pc more expensive than the same journey the previous week.

But the most astonishing price rise is for a return Ryanair flight for the September 30 Argentina game in Paris.

At €744.99, it is an incredible 600pc more expensive than the ¨104.99 cost of the same journey – leaving Dublin on Sunday and returning Monday morning – the week before and a 450pc rise on the week after.

In Aer Lingus’s case, their €454.50 offer for September 30 is 50pc higher than the €296.50 cost of travel the week before and 130pc more expensive than the €196.50 cost of travel the week after.

Given that the cheapest ticket offer available through Club Travel – Ireland’s official travel agent for the Rugby World Cup – is €529 for a match ticket and the cost of car hire to and from the stadium while in France, rugby fans face paying up to €1,273 just to see a single game.

A spokesman for the Irish Rugby Supporter’s Club said last night: ‘We have no control over the cost of flights but it won’t be the first time that prices go up for a sports fixture.

‘It’s hard to understand how pricing works these days.

‘It is just an unfortunate aspect of modern airline travel, and the high prices being charged come despite the fact that more than 20,000 rugby fans will want to go to France for the fixtures. So, it’s not as if there is going to be a shortage of people going to France.’

He added: ‘One good thing about almost all the matches being held in France is that there is obviously more than one way of getting there.’

Ireland’s first two fixtures in Group D are in Bordeaux and are against Namibia on September 9 and Georgia on September 15.

The tournament, for which Ireland is currently quoted at odds of 16-1 to win, kicks off in Paris on September 7.

ENDS