A travel agent who boasted that he had secured the last planes to Seville for the Europa League final was left red-faced after football fans told how they jetted into the wrong airport.
The £950 return flights from Glasgow to Seville for Rangers’ clash with Eintracht Frankfurt were not quite as Celtic fan and travel boss Conor Campbell, 23, had promised, reports The Daily Record.
One of the flights had had been switched to Prestwick and both planes arrived in Jerez, 40 miles and an hour’s drive away.
Fans had to scramble to get to Seville before the kick-off and then had to fork out for taxis to take them back after the match.
Twelve people didn’t make it back in time and had to fork out for other flights.
One Rangers fan said: ”From start to finish it was a joke.”
Another supporter, businessman Alex Coles, said: “After the game it was a mad rush to get out of the stadium and find a taxi. After an hour of hunting for one we did find a driver willing to take us to Jerez, but it would be 370 euros. We simply had to pay this.”
Supporter William Fletcher said:“Conor Campbell did not provide the service he advertised.”
Others said they were considering legal action to get refunds for the extra expense.
Yesterday Campbell, from Airdrie, who runs his own travel firm called Conor Campbell Travel, issued a public apology and said he had been let down at the last minute by the charter company.
He promised to reimburse every traveller for any extra costs.
Campbell, who previously spoke about being a Celtic fan organising the trip for Rangers supporters, said: “We secured two aircraft and received confirmation that these flights will be flying into Seville late on Sunday 15th.
“We then were left in limbo, as were other travel companies, as we were awaiting confirmed flight times to share with our customers.
“On Tuesday 17th, with less than 24 hours to go before our clients were due to depart, the charter company informed us that our landing slots had been revoked and the only alternatives they could offer were Faro, Malaga or Jerez.
“We had initially secured coach transfers for all guests booked to travel to and from Seville Airport and were one of the only companies doing so, the main reason being as we wanted to ensure all our clients had safe passage to and from the airports as it was expected to be extremely busy.
“We only agreed to the airport change for Jerez after we had sourced other transfers for our guests, at a substantially higher cost. The supplier we booked these with then cancelled these with less than eight hours notice.
“We would not have agreed to the airport change if we knew we could not source transfers for our guests.
“Of the 289 passengers we sent to Seville, 12 didn’t make their flight home. So far we know of four in particular, and have agreed to pay for their returning costs.”
The two private charter flights had been marketed as a direct flight from Glasgow to Seville and were due to arrive there at 11.20am on the day of the game.
Angry fans also say there were also no transfers from Jerez to Seville after the game, except for a coach put on by Campbell for 50 fans only at a cost of £75 a head.
Those unable to pay or get a seat say they were forced to share taxis back to Jerez at cost of more than £300 per cab.
Campbell said that the £75 coach hire transfer was only offered as a last resort and was the cheapest he could find.
He added: ”Despite our best efforts we were extremely let down by our partners who are normally very much reliable.
“We pride ourselves on offering a high standard of personal service at all times.”
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