A Lanarkshire travel agent has wreaked havoc on Rangers fans after bragging about securing the last planes to Sevilla only for stunned supporters to head to the wrong airport.
The £950 return flights from Glasgow to Sevilla for the Gers clash with Frankfurt were not quite as promised by trip leader and Celtic fan Conor Campbell, 23, from Airdrie.
One of the flights transferred to Prestwick and both planes arrived in Jerez, 40 miles and an hour’s drive from Seville.
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Fans had to scramble to get to the big game before kick-off and then had to shell out for taxis to take them back to Jerez after the game, which saw Rangers lose on penalties after a 1-0 draw. 1.
Twelve people did not return in time and had to pay for other flights. A 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 searching we found a driver willing to take us to Jerez but it would cost 370 euros. We just had to pay that.”
Supporter William Fletcher said: “Conor Campbell did not deliver the service he advertised.”
Others said they were considering legal action to obtain reimbursement for additional expenses.
Campbell, who runs his own travel company called Conor Campbell Travel, issued a public apology over the weekend and said he was let down at the last minute by the charter company.
He promised to reimburse each traveler for any additional costs.
He said: “We have secured two planes and have received confirmation that these flights will arrive in Seville late on Sunday the 15th.
“We were then left in limbo, as were other travel companies, as we waited for confirmed flight times to share with our customers.
“On Tuesday 17, less than 24 hours from the departure of our customers, the rental company informed us that our landing slots had been canceled and that the only alternatives they could offer were Faro, Malaga or Jerez.
“We originally provided coach transfers for all customers booked to travel to and from Seville airport and were one of the only companies to do so, the main reason being that we wanted to ensure that all of our customers had safe passage to and from the airports as it must have been extremely busy.
“We only accepted the change of airport to Jerez after finding other transfers for our customers, at a significantly higher cost. The supplier we booked them with then canceled them with less notice eight hours.
“We would not have accepted the change of airport if we knew that we could not provide transfers for our customers.
“Of the 289 passengers we sent to Seville, 12 did not catch their return flight. So far, we know of four in particular and have agreed to pay their return 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 match day.
Angry fans also say there was no transfer from Jerez to Sevilla after the game, apart from a coach set up by Campbell for 50 fans at a cost of £75 each.
Those unable to pay or secure a seat say they have been forced to share taxis back to Jerez at a cost of over £300 per taxi.
Campbell said 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 have been extremely disappointed with our partners who are normally very reliable.
“We pride ourselves on providing a high standard of personalized service at all times.”
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