Liverpool FC fan fears ’empty seats’ in Paris final as tour operator’s flight canceled

Hundreds of Liverpool FC supporters have been turned away from Liverpool John Lennon Airport after a flight to Paris was canceled at the last minute.

The fans arrived at Speke Airport expecting to board the 4am flight to Paris for the Reds’ Champions League final against Real Madrid. But hundreds were turned away after the flight sold by tour operator WorldChoice Sports was canceled.

Fans paid around £650 to fly to Paris this morning May 28 and return on Sunday. Fans received text messages telling them that their flight time had changed slightly, but upon arrival they found that the flight had been canceled without any indication of the reason.

READ MORE: Liverpool fans stuck at Rocket as Paris coach walks past huge crowd

Formby’s Steve Cook booked the return flights with Widnes-based WorldChoice Sports the day before Manchester City lost their second league semi-final to Real Madrid. The 56-year-old, who has followed the Reds around Europe and was there when the club won in Istanbul, was due to fly out at 4am today with a friend.

Steve told ECHO: “We got a text message that the time of the flight had changed so we assumed it had been delayed a bit. When we got there it was cancelled. I think that there were to be two more flights after but with three flights of people it is difficult to say how many people could have boarded.

“There was a WorldChoice Sports rep there but no one was giving him any trouble or anything like that. Everyone was angry but everyone behaved under the circumstances. It’s not the case, you can’t count on them.”

WorldChoice Sports drew criticism in 2018 after three flights to Kyiv were canceled ahead of that year’s Champions League final. At the time, the tour operator said it could not secure landing slots at the airport.

Steve added that the most disappointing thing was that fans were asked if they had a ticket for the game when they booked through the tour operator. He said: “I had a ticket but God knows how many people are going to get one.

“There are people desperate for these things. We’re going to have empty seats in the stadium because of this and that’s just not happening.”

Steve said he will now watch the game from home as it is too late in the day to make other arrangements to travel to Paris.

Last night a large group of people were stranded at the Rocket pub after their coaches who were to take them to Paris failed to arrive. One fan told ECHO around five of the 24 coaches had arrived, leaving fans stranded and unable to get to the game.

ECHO has approached WorldChoice Sports for comment.