Collingwood president Jeff Browne is understood to be among scrambling footy fans who saw their flight for Sydney delayed on Saturday after a worrying safety concern.

AFL fans keen to make the trip to the New South Wales capital for Saturday's preliminary final have already been subject to price hikes, with hundreds of Magpies fans opting to make the commute by bus or car instead.

For those that did fork out a premium price for the commute by plane, some may be left rushing to get to the opening bounce for the match between Sydney and Collingwood, with their matchday flight grounded after fumes appeared on their QANTAS flight.

Emergency services were called to inspect and diffuse the situation, which forced the place to return to the tarmac.

“A flight from Melbourne to Sydney performed an air return shortly after take-off due to reports of an unusual smell in the cabin," A QANTAS representative told News Corp. 

“The flight landed back in Melbourne safely and without incident.

“Engineers are currently inspecting the aircraft.

“We will always put safety first. However, we know that delays like these are frustrating to customers and we’re working to reaccommodate passengers on other flights today.”

Pies boss Browne is understood to be among those left stranded and nervously awaiting the next, which is now scheduled to depart at 2:00pm (AEST), per 3AW.

The estimated flight time between Melbourne and Sydney is 85 minutes, leaving footy goers just over an hour between landing in NSW and getting to the SCG.

Saturday's preliminary final between the Sydney Swans and Collingwood Magpies is scheduled to commence at 4:45pm (AEST).