Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has said he is “working really hard” to help football fans who face missing the Reds showdown with Real Madrid in Kiev due to a fiasco over flights.
Around 1,000 fans were left high and dry when operator World Choice Sports cancelled three flights because it did not have sufficient landing slots at Boryspil Airport.
Mr Anderson said he was working with Kiev’s mayor – former boxer Vitali Klitschko – to find a solution for all those who face missing out.
In a minute-long video posted on Twitter on Friday, he said: “We’ve had more discussions this morning with Mayor Klitschko and also the director of the airport.
“Now they’re trying to do a couple of things for us – they’re trying to look and see if we can use an airport nearby either to get an airbus in there or some smaller crafts either today or tomorrow.”
He added: “We are trying to help as much as we can but we’ll try and keep you updated, so just stay tuned and we’ll try and update you again shortly.”
A few minutes later he posted an update saying his team was in talks with a carrier that could possibly lay on two or three flights from John Lennon airport to Kiev on Saturday, arriving in the early evening.
He said: “The mayor [of Kiev] has said he will lay on transport to take people to the grounds which is about 40 minutes away.”
Mr Anderson finished: “That’s what I’m hoping. I can’t confirm or promise anything 100%.”
Worldchoice Sports said due to so many flights heading to Ukraine ahead of Liverpool’s meeting with Real Madrid, Boryspil Airport had been unable to allocate times for the three planes.
In a statement tweeted on Friday, it said it had been able to utilise one of the slots it had booked but it would have been on a different date and for three nights instead of one night.
“With no accommodation in Kiev being available it was decided that in such a short space of time it would not be possible to utilise this slot and risk the safety of our customers.”
It added: “We can’t apologise to our customers enough about the situation they find themselves in.
“We feel terribly let down by Kiev airport and can assure all customers affected will be getting a full refund over the next seven days.”
Disappointed fans took to Twitter to express their disgust at the lack of information they had received.
Leah Robinson posted: “Arranging & selling overpriced flights before any guarantee that you could fly into kiev in the first place. Scum bags!”
Arranging & selling overpriced flights before getting any guarantee that you could fly into Kiev in the first place 🤦🏻ââï¸ Scum bags!— Leah Robinson (@LeahGraham_85) May 25, 2018
Wade Upton wrote: “Just spoke to @Worldchoicepo customer service – 100% blaming Kiev airport. Allocated too many slots to private jets to make more money @Vitaliy_Klyschko
“They also say @mayor_anderson is lying about the additional slots available and is spinning the Pr line. 0% chance of going.”
Just Spoke to @worldchoicespo customer service - 100% blaming Kiev airport. Allocated to many slots to private jets to make more money @Vitaliy_Klychko— Wade UptonÂ® âï¸âï¸âï¸âï¸âï¸âï¸ (@WadeUpton10) May 25, 2018
They also say @mayor_anderson is lying about the additional slots available and is spinning the PR line.
0% chance of going😥
Financial adviser Jason McGimpsey, 43, was looking forward to the trip of a lifetime but was told on Thursday his flight was cancelled.
He told the Press Association: “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 continued: “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.
“This was the biggest game of my life.”
He added: “Since then we’ve heard nothing. Games like this come along every 10 years if you’re lucky, I should be excited and instead I’m just gutted.”