Super Bowl Flights: Airlines Gear Up to Fly Thousands to the Big Game



FILE PHOTO United Airlines plane at Newark Liberty International Airport

Skift Take

In what might be a record-breaking Super Bowl, airlines are preparing to fly tens of thousands of passengers to Las Vegas this weekend.

This year’s Super Bowl may break multiple records. 

As the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers square off on Sunday, there’s been a sharp uptick in demand for weekend travel to Las Vegas. 

Even viewership could exceed 200 million, as speculation swirls whether Taylor Swift will be in attendance and companies spend millions of dollars for glitzy ad campaigns.

Flight bookings to Las Vegas from Wednesday to Sunday rose by 875% compared to the same time last year, according to FCM, the business travel division of Flight Centre Travel Group, a travel agency based in Australia. 

Fans flying to Las Vegas are coming from Chicago, New York/New Jersey, Denver, Dallas and Los Angeles, the travel agency found. And while football is an American sport, it does stir up some international interest — the top international cities making their way to the Super Bowl this weekend include Mexico City, Toronto and London. 

Here’s what the major airlines are anticipating for the Super Bowl:

Delta Air Lines

Delta is increasing capacity, adding a new route from Kansas City to Las Vegas. From February 8 to February 12, Delta is operating six flights between the two cities. 

The carrier is also adding more routes to Las Vegas from San Francisco, San Jose and New York’s JFK. 

United Airlines

The Super Bowl is a big deal for United. The carrier is the official airline for both the Chiefs and 49ers, transporting both teams to Las Vegas ahead of the game this weekend. 

United said it typically operates 40 flights a day to Las Vegas on a Boeing 737. It is increasing capacity to 75 flights a day for Super Bowl weekend and using 10 Boeing 777s. The carrier said it expects to fly more than 12,000 customers in the days leading up to the game.

The Chiefs and 49ers will board United’s charter flights on Friday, and United said it will fly a total of 22,000 customers to Las Vegas over two days.

And after the game, United will fly both teams back to Kansas City and San Francisco, along with more than 14,000 travelers. 

Southwest Airlines

Southwest is adding a slate of flights from Kansas City, San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose to Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend.

Between Kansas City and Las Vegas, the carrier is significantly expanding its capacity from February 8 to February 13. Between February 8 and February 10, Southwest will have a total of 15 nonstop options for the Kansas City-Las Vegas route. 

And when everyone is leaving the game, Southwest has 12 different nonstop options available from Las Vegas to Kansas City. 

For the 49ers fans, Southwest has 11 nonstop options from San Francisco to Las Vegas. Southwest also has a big presence in Bay Area cities Oakland and San Jose. Oakland-Las Vegas has 27 nonstop options; Las Vegas-Oakland has 17. 

Southwest is operating a total of 29 nonstop flights from San Jose to Las Vegas, and 19 from Las Vegas to San Jose. 



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