Thousands of fans who bought official Rugby World Cup travel packages are likely to have paid more in hidden administration fees than they did for their seat in the stand.
Tickets for the sell-out Eden Park final sold for between $399 and $1279. But a a confidential "invitation to tender" document reveals that an additional "administration fee" of up to $1200, plus GST, applied to each final ticket sold around the world as part of a travel package.
Last week, the Herald reported a man had effectively spent more on his coach fare to Eden Park than on the tickets to the final and semis by buying a guaranteed-ticket package from House of Travel.
Now, the Otago Daily Times has established that a range of administration fees is set out in a table contained in the document sent in 2009 to travel agents interested in buying match tickets to combine with travel and accommodation components.
Twenty international companies signed up as "official travel agents". They include Gullivers and Thomas Cook, of England, and House of Travel, of New Zealand.
The table shows an official travel agent tendering for tickets to the final only would pay the $1200, plus GST, administration fee for each ticket, on top of the face value of the ticket.
By buying tickets to 11 or more matches the administration fee would drop to $900, plus GST, per ticket.
At the other end of the scale, an administration fee of between $23, plus GST, and $30, plus GST, would apply to non top-8 pool matches.
The tender document was sent to travel agents by Rugby Travel and Hospitality, a New Zealand-registered company that paid Rugby World Cup for the exclusive rights to sell travel and hospitality packages.
Director of operations for Rugby Travel and Hospitality David White said the company did not retain all the administration fee. "It doesn't all come to us I can assure you of that. It goes back to the development of rugby."
- Otago Daily Times