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Rush is on for footy flights
Picture: Sharon Smith. Rush is on for footy flights

Football fans are running out of travel options after the two major airlines yesterday stepped back from adding extra flights to Adelaide and Melbourne.

Virtually all cheaper economy seats on direct flights had been snapped up by last night with fans forced to look at flights through other cities such as Sydney.

Fremantle fans are the hardest hit with limited flights to Adelaide. Even the indirect Qantas flights cost from $622 via Melbourne.

Eagles' fans are not much better off with the cheapest option to Melbourne flying through Sydney for around $501 on Friday.

On Virgin Australia, there are only business-class seats on direct flights to Adelaide on Thursday at $1245. A few seats on red-eye flights via Sydney or Melbourne were available from $539.

Qantas and Virgin Australia were monitoring demand but said there were no immediate plans to add flights.

The problem for the airlines is that while there is demand one-way to the east, there is no demand for flights to Perth so planes would be near empty one-way.

Some fans have been quick off the mark. Dockers diehard Robert Jurjevich wasn't taking any chances and booked his flight during the last quarter on Saturday.

Mr Jurjevich, who has been to every final Fremantle have played, was forced to drive to Adelaide for the 2006 qualifying final after missing out on a flight.

"We flew over for the Geelong game on the weekend and halfway through that last quarter I said to my mate, 'Start looking for flights'," he said. "I sent a message through to my wife and my boss, got two green lights and booked them."

His colleague and Eagles fanatic, Trent Proctor, 17, spent $1180 on a package deal for Saturday's semi-final against Collingwood.

"It's definitely going to be worth it," he said.

The Indian Pacific train has one service crossing the Nullarbor in time for Fremantle's final. It leaves Perth at 11.55am on Wednesday and arrives in Adelaide at 7.20am on Friday. A standard ticket costs $502.

Both semifinals will be broadcast live on Channel 7, starting with Adelaide v Fremantle at 6.30pm.

The Collingwood v West Coast pre-game show starts at 4.30pm on Saturday, continuing from 5-5.30pm on 7mate before bouncedown at 5.30pm on Seven.