Monday, 27 June 2011

Olympic Seconds

They say three is a magic number...

On Friday morning at 6am people who were unsuccessful at obtaining any tickets for the London 2012 Olympics were given what the organisers called an ‘exclusive opportunity’, to purchase tickets that did not sell out in the first round of sales. Instead of a lottery style draw, this time tickets were on a first come first serve basis, where applicants could only apply for three sessions and submit a single application. Prior to what was named ‘frantic Friday’, a list of what events were still available including price bands was published. The date I originally applied for was completely sold out, but I was relieved to see that a few athletics sessions had limited availability, as previously it was expected that it would be totally sold out.

I analysed the list and planned to apply for –
Friday 3 August – 2x tickets at £150 – opening morning of the athletics
Monday 6 August – 4x tickets at £65 – these were the cheapest left for athletics
Tuesday 7 August – 4x tickets at £95 – the session includes the men’s 200m heats and so the chance to see Usain Bolt

You may have noticed that on two of the sessions I planned to purchase four tickets instead of two, based on the fact that I have little faith in the Ticket Care Scheme where if you are not in a wheelchair, then free carer tickets are subject to availability. It was for purely financial reasons that I only went for two at £150.

Being blind and needing to use a screen reader to access the London 2012 ticket site, I was always going to be at a disadvantage to non disabled fans. The site is fully accessible, but you are always going to be slower when you can’t use a mouse or have a quick glance at the page and see where you need to be. I also feared with the site being busy that my screen reader would slow down and crash. The night before sale day, I logged onto the site and had a practice run where possible, finding out the quickest way to get to places and how to search with the fewest results on screen.

My alarm went off promptly at 5.30am and I was ready to go. I logged onto the site at 5.45am, signed in and prepared my search filter, ready to press submit at 6am sharp. This was fine and I selected my first ticket selection to be greeted with a message of ‘sorry we are unable to process your request at this time’. This unwelcome message appeared a few times, along with another stating that there was high demand and you should wait for the page to load. I never waited though and retyped the web address back in, knowing my tickets were saved in my basket. I think many people got caught out with that one. 33mins later, I had my 3 sessions selected and had a confirmation email sitting in my inbox. I felt I had done well and couldn’t have done it any quicker or better.

It was an agonising 48hr wait, but yesterday I discovered that I would be charged £306 between 4-8 July, as I had been allocated 2x tickets at £150 for the opening day of action. My third choice of event overall.

Now the news has sunk in, I’m excited to have some tickets and glad that I wasn’t one of the fifth teen thousand to be unlucky again. Apparently some sports sold out within the first fifth teen minutes of sales and knowing how popular athletics is and the fact that I took double that time, I’m really lucky.

However, I’m now going to have to make a third application, as I need two more tickets to ensure that my entire family can go. This means I’ll be putting the Ticket Care Scheme to the test and will find out whether I can get the two free carer tickets my family are entitled to, as my brother and I are both visually impaired. How I make this application, I have no idea, I don’t trust London 2012 to contact me first and will be researching of how to do this once my payment has been taken and tickets confirmed.

They say three is a magic number...

1 comment:

Jen said...

Cool. Glad you managed to get tickets!