MIAMI — Now that the Super Bowl pairings are set — the New England Patriots versus the Seattle Seahawks — the airlines are making their plans to ensure that passengers get to Phoenix for the big game.
One thing that will be missing this year is a Seahawks-themed Boeing jet, like the one the manufacturer painted for last year’s game. Boeing spokesman Doug Alder said the company currently has no plans to paint an airplane in a special livery this year.
But hometown carrier Alaska Airlines is bringing back a Super Bowl promotion with quarterback and Chief Football Officer Russell Wilson to reward fans. Fifty-six Mileage Plan members will have the chance to win two roundtrip tickets for an ‘inflight tailgate party’ from Seattle to Phoenix on the airline’s “Go Russell 737-900ER” aircraft.
Winners will also receive two nights of hotel accommodations, admission to an exclusive game day party and transportation to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and their hotel. Plan members can enter the sweepstakes on Alaska Airlines’ Facebook page.
For fans planning on attending the Super Bowl, Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue and United have announced they will add extra lift from key cities to Phoenix. Alaska has added two roundtrip flights between Seattle and Phoenix on a Boeing 737-900ER.
Because Phoenix is a hub for American Airlines, it already has unrivaled access to the Super Bowl host city, said spokesman Casey Norton via email. “We are adding a couple of other flights to supplement. We’ve added two extra roundtrip flights between both Seattle and Phoenix and Boston and Phoenix. They are all US Airways flights and are loaded and selling now.”
Interestingly, Delta recently started service between Seattle and Phoenix, and will add more flights to the Super Bowl city from Boston, Los Angeles and Seattle. The Seattle and Los Angeles flights will operate using specially configured aircraft with all first or business class seats. And Delta has increased the size of the aircraft on one regularly scheduled flight from Phoenix to Seattle on Feb. 2 from a regional jet to a 160-seat Boeing 737-800.
Delta currently operates five peak-day flights between Phoenix and its Seattle hub, and two of those flights will be operated using larger aircraft to accommodate more fans traveling to the game on Friday, Jan. 30. Delta also operates five peak-day flights from Los Angeles to Phoenix, with some service operated by Delta Connection carriers SkyWest Airlines and Compass Airlines.
“We also charter all four of yesterday’s teams and have carried four of the past five Super Bowl champions,” said spokesman Anthony Black via email. “We are the official airlines of the the Seattle Seahawks.”
JetBlue Airways, which calls itself Boston’s largest carrier, is adding flights to Phoenix to boost capacity on its daily flight, which is already sold out. The carrier is adding a BOS-PHX flight on January 30, and a PHX-BOS flight on February 2.
Finally, United Airlines is adding 55 flights on eight routes for the big game. It is also adding two new routes — BOS-PHX and SEA-PHX — on top of regularly scheduled flights to Phoenix from its Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark and San Francisco hubs between January 29 and February 2. Several of the flights will be operated with Boeing 767 aircraft to accommodate the extra demand.