Hundreds of Irish fans have joined the crowds descending on the City of Angels to say farewell to the king of pop.

Aer Lingus was said to have completely sold out all flights from Dublin to Los Angeles for today and yesterday as heartbroken fans made their way from Ireland to the West Coast.

The special memorial service has been totally over subscribed with more than 1.6 million people registering for just 17,000 tickets.

One fan, Hilda Smith, from Navan, said she had raided her savings to pay for the pilgrimage.

"I just didn't want to miss this," she said from Los Angeles. "I know it seems really macabre but I had tickets for the gigs in London and I was really looking forward to seeing him," she said.

Like many other Irish fans, Smith has decided to hold on the ticket instead of seeking a refund.

"I've never seen him in concert before," she said "and this was the first time I'd ever had the chance to go see him."

"I'd rather keep the ticket than get my money back."

In a bizarre twist, Smith still has her tickets to Nirvana who were due to play in Dublin's RDS on April 8, 1994. The concert never took place as lead singer Kurt Cobain was found dead on the same day in Seattle.

"At this rate I'll be collecting dead star's tickets," she said.