Wednesday, 30 August 2017
Difficulty in booking AFL tickets for wheelchair accessible seats
David Bevan: Good morning John Duthie, what was your experience in the last 24 hours?
John Duthie: Well, firstly I normally sit with my group of walking friends in the eastern wing at the football and it’s great sitting next to them, so I started calling Ticketek at 9am. And after many phone calls I was halfway through the three hour window. And I knew at the same time that non-accessible fans were able to get their tickets, waiting only 10 to 15 minutes online. So I decided to book online with the eight barcodes, but by then the cheaper seats had gone, and it was getting harder to find eight seats together, and I didn’t want to let my friends down. So it only took me a few minutes online and I managed to get eight seats in the southern stands. But being upstairs I can’t sit with them! So yeah, I had quite a few problems yesterday and I still can’t sit with my friends.
Ali Clarke: So John I will point out that you are in a wheelchair and that’s what makes it hard then for you to sit with your friends. So the actual way that people that need help or have special needs to get these tickets and they’ve been directed to, is to try this hotline.
John Duthie: Yes, I asked the Port Adelaide Football Club how I can sit with my friends, and they said to call the Ticketek Special Needs hotline. So I did, but you know, the online system doesn’t allow people with accessible seating requests to book online.
Ali Clarke: And is part of that because they have to have a companion, be able to sit with them, or to be able to have other seats around them so you can have eight or nine people that you want to sit with?
John Duthie: Well it’s just not possible to book online if you’ve got accessible seating requests. So fans like me in wheelchairs are either missing out on tickets or paying more or not being able to sit with their friends.
Ali Clarke: I just can’t understand though why people in wheelchairs can’t book online? Why is that?
John Duthie: I’m not exactly sure it does require some system changes and some checks and balances in place to ensure that people who don’t need seating requests don’t get them.
Ali Clarke: Okay, I hope somehow that there can be an easier way to get people to the football. Thank you for your time.
John Duthie: Thank you.
Ali Clarke: David after all of this you don’t really care about football tickets though do you?
David Bevan: That is not true, I didn’t get the name Mr Football for nothing.