COACH firms are allegedly cashing in on the Scottish Cup final- quoting fans three times the normal price for hiring a bus.
Football supporters claim to have been quoted extortionate fees for hiring coaches for the May 19 clash between Hibs and Hearts.
One group of fans travelling from Edinburgh to Hampden park in Glasgow on the morning of the match said a 52-seater bus return would set them back £900 – triple the normal cost.
A bus firm offered to hire a 16-seater minibus for £620 on cup final day, compared to the normal price of £320.
A Hibs supporter said the prices quoted were the highest he had seen.
He said: “We normally use a local company and they could not help us out for the final because of a pipe band competition in Motherwell.
“I started to call round on Monday to be told by nearly everyone that they were sold out. We would hire 20 or 30 buses a season and have done for around 30 years. Even going back to the Hibs v Hearts semi-final at Hampden in 2006, we weren’t paying anything like this.
“These are the highest prices I have ever seen.”
The supporter blasted the coach firms for “blatant profiteering” from the historic fixture.
“Just because demand is high doesn’t make it morally right to charge these prices,” he said.
And it’s not just Scots bus firms trying to cash in on the act.
One Cardiff based company are advertising online as “Edinburgh Mini Bus Hire” and are charging £620 for a 16-seater from Edinburgh to Glasgow.
The sales manager for the firm said price hikes were determined by the demand.
“The increase in price comes down to availability.
“We’re a broker so once all the Edinburgh coaches run out, we then look to bring them up from Durham and, because of the dead mileage and driver wages coming from that, there is an increase. That’s just business.”
Steve Kilgour, secretary of the Federation of Hearts Supporters Clubs, said companies could be cashing in to make up for financial losses.
“It stinks of dynamic pricing,” he said.
“I think the fans will take it or leave it and will be realistic about it. If they’re still looking for a bus, they’ll just pay it.
“At the same time, I can see why some are seeing this as a chance to recoup some losses with the difficult financial climate.
“Fortunately, the bus company we used phoned me first thing on Monday, asked what we needed and we got charged our regular rate.”