Airlines are scrambling to find capacity to meet what is expected to be an avalanche of bookings this morning once Dockers fans know if they are successful in the Grand Final ticket draw.
Availability and location of planes, crew hours, ferrying planes empty to and from Perth from eastern states bases and school holidays are making the uplift of Dockers fans a logistical nightmare.
Booking activity went into overdrive during the third quarter on Saturday night with seats, including business class disappearing by the minute according to Amity Travel’s Luke Chittock.
“Activity really stepped up about half way through the third quarter when Fremantle withstood the Sydney Swans’ onslaught,” Mr Chittock said.
On the final siren to end Sydney’s misery Qantas added four more 300-seat flights with the cheaper seats going in minutes.
The best options yesterday were $650 via Sydney on Wednesday on Qantas or $743 with Jetstar direct to Melbourne on Friday.
Most other fares are around the $1000 mark.
Yesterday, Qantas Domestic Chief Executive Officer Lyell Strambi told The West Australian that the airline “will continue to monitor demand throughout the week and assess if further capacity is required.”
Virgin Australia added another flight for Friday 28 yesterday with one-way fares at $805.
Both airlines have added significant capacity.
Virgin Australia has put on 14 extra return services made up of direct flights and additional Sydney to Melbourne return flights to handle the fans that are going through Sydney.
From Wednesday to Saturday morning Qantas has 27 300-passenger flights operating direct to Melbourne.
Qantas is understood to have some 747s available but these planes and their crews are based in Sydney.
Hotel capacity is not a problem with Hotelclub.com showing availability at 225 hotels at prices far cheaper than Perth.
Some three-star hotels cost $140 a night.
HorizonsWest has a Freo Express bus service which departs on Tuesday 24.
Cost is $880 return.
Rail is an option at $553 for a seat to Adelaide.
The Indian Pacific departs on Wednesday 25 at noon and arrives in Adelaide on Friday at 7.20am.
Passengers connect with a bus service to Melbourne costing $70.It’s expected many fans will want to travel to Melbourne regardless of tickets to the game to be part of the atmosphere and watch the game at Federation Square.