Football fever has reached new heights in Argentina and frenzied fans are desperately searching for last-minute flights to Doha for the World Cup Final.
The scramble for tickets has football fanatics spending unheard of amounts on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Albiceleste go for glory in Qatar. Freshly scheduled Aerolíneas Argentinas flights to Doha, announced late Tuesday night, sold in just a few hours.
Shortly after the 3-0 semi-final victory over Croatia, the airline added new departures for Doha which sold out in a half hour. Due to monumental demand, the state carrier quickly confirmed a second flight, with tickets again quickly snapped up. Both flights will be Airbus A330 aircraft and depart from Ezeiza International Airport on December 16, stopping to refuel in Rome, with the total trip lasting 19 hours.
The epic flight does not come cheap; one-way tickets were bought for a whopping 1.1 million Argentine pesos (US$6,470 at the official exchange rate, before taxes), and round-trip flights cost a staggering 1.8 million to 2 million pesos (between US$10,580 to US$11,760). This speaks volumes about the unwavering support for the national team, as the tickets can not be bought in installments and seats for the World Cup decider are difficult to find, and expensive as well.
The Lusail Stadium, which was packed with more than 50,000 supporters clad in light-blue-and-white for Tuesday’s semi-final, will also host the long-anticipated showdown on Sunday, December 18. Tens of thousands of passionate Argentine fans are expected to swamp the venue once again. The team last won the World Cup in 1986, and last made it to the finals in 2014.
It remains to be seen if the airline will add more departures, leading fans to look for alternatives that can take anywhere from 30 to 69 hours.