Airlines: Massive influx in bookings as fans flock to Michael Jackson’s memorial


Airlines have reported a massive influx in bookings on flights to Los Angeles, as thousands of fans flock Stateside for Michael Jackson’s memorial service.

Fans from across the globe rushed to book flights after 8,750 names were chosen to receive a pair of tickets to the ceremony, which will be held tomorrow at the Staples Center.

But today airlines urged fans travelling to the memorial to book tickets as soon as possible, as they struggled to deal with the phenomenal demand of bookings to the California area.

British Airways spokesman Philip Allport said: “From the beginning of this week, flights are looking very busy.

“Anybody who is looking to travel out at the last minute should book as soon as possible.

“We operate three flights a day from Heathrow to Los Angeles and they are filling up – for most of the week.”

He added: “People are trying to get there, even if they don’t get there in time. They want to catch the atmosphere, and to be part of it.”

Virgin Atlantic spokesman Paul Charles said: “It’s filled up from the end of last week, undoubtedly there are lots of people going out there.

“There’s a combination of fans and VIPs travelling.

“I think lots of people are converging in the hope that they will get in to see some of the service.

“I think this is America’s version of Princess Diana, people want to be in the vicinity, people from the UK and elsewhere want to share their emotions together.”

In addition to the 12-hour direct flights to LA, fans are also buying airline tickets as close Hollywood as possible – booking up flights to San Francisco, Las Vegas and Denver in a desperate bid to share in the farewell to the star.

It is thought if demand continues to boom, airlines will be forced to put on extra flights to cope with demand.