Liverpool to refund Champions League final tickets for fans with cancelled flights

Liverpool mayor still working on possible solution for 650 fans ahead of game in Kiev

Liverpool  fans cheer in the fan zone in Kiev  on the eve of the  Champions League final against  Real Madrid. Photograph:  Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

Liverpool fans cheer in the fan zone in Kiev on the eve of the Champions League final against Real Madrid. Photograph: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

 

Liverpool have offered full refunds on tickets for the upcoming Champions League final in Ukraine to 650 fans whose flights have been cancelled, but ticket-holders called the travel problems an “absolute joke”.

Two flights to Kiev were cancelled by the tour operator Worldchoice Sports on Thursday after Boryspil airport could not allocate landing slots for the planes due to leave the United Kingdom on Friday and Saturday.

The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said he was trying to help supporters who faced missing Liverpool’s match against Real Madrid.

But hours later, a statement on the club website said: “The decision to offer refunds has been made in response to the cancellation of two flights chartered by Widnes-based travel company Worldchoice Sports, leaving about 650 supporters without a flight to Kiev for the Champions League final.”

Anderson said he had been in talks with the mayor of Kiev and the director of the airport in an attempt to find alternative flights. He said he could not promise anything, but was hopeful a solution would be found.

“With conversations that we’re having with [Liverpool] John Lennon airport, we might be able to have some flights that are available tomorrow and get into Kiev early evening,” he said in a video posted on Twitter.

“We’ve had conversations again with the mayor and the director of the airport there. The mayor has assured me that he will lay on transport to take people to the ground, which is about 40 minutes away.”

Raj Soni, manager of Worldchoice Sports, blamed poor organisation in Kiev for the problem. In a statement on its website, the company said: “We have exhausted all avenues to try to get landing slots. We have had them from Liverpool airport and Manchester airport, and we have applied for slots in the correct manner and timeframe with the authorities. To reiterate – this problem is with Kiev.”

Liverpool are expecting more than 20,000 supporters to travel to the Ukrainian capital ahead of the match at Olimpiyskiy stadium.

On social media, Liverpool fans expressed their disappointment and anger at the lack of information they had received.

Jason McGimpsey, 43, a financial adviser, said he had been looking forward to the trip of a lifetime, but was told on Thursday that his flight was cancelled.

“Worldchoice Sports had been stalling on giving us e-tickets and exact departure times, and it’s become clear why that was the case. Now, finally they’ve said ‘we’ve cancelled it’,” he said.

“I’ve been offered a refund, but it doesn’t go anywhere near compensating me for what I’ve lost. For various personal reasons, I was unable to go to the finals in Istanbul or Athens. I go to practically all Liverpool games and I haven’t missed a home game in nearly four years.” – Guardian service

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