Super Bowl

MSP Airport is ready for Super Bowl fans to arrive – and leave

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is ready for the Super Bowl 52 fans to arrive – and leave .

“For many Super Bowl attendees, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will be their first and last impression of Minnesota, and we want to ensure it’s a great one,” said Brian Ryks, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates MSP.

The airport has spruced up with a special Super Bowl info page on its website, an enhanced Wi-Fi system, new carpeting, new furniture, new shops and restaurants and has added lots of NFL signage and pop-up Super Bowl souvenir shops in the terminals.

Extra volunteers have been recruited to help travelers with airport wayfinding and extra space has been arranged for all the taxis, rental cars, limos and Uber and Lyft cars that will be supplementing public transportation options at the airport.

Weather contingency plans are in place. Airport police and fire crews have been working with city, county and federal law enforcement agencies on how to deal with various scenarios. And the Transportation Security Administration is bringing in extra officers and passenger screening canines to help process passengers heading home after the game.

“TSA operations at MSP following the Super Bowl will be an ‘all hands on deck’ operation,” said TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers, “From uniformed staff to plain-clothes administrative personnel, everyone will be working.”

TSA and MSP expect to set passenger records on the Monday and Tuesday after Super Bowl, but airport officials are confident their team is up for the challenge.

“We have a solid plan in place to keep everyone safe, the operation running smoothly, and travelers’ experience positive,” said MSP’s Ryks.

Safe and smooth is good, but MSP’s Super Bowl welcome team is also offering fans of the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots some fun extras.

A 10-day “Performing Arts Spectacular” is underway, with a lineup of events featuring everything from Bollywood, hip-hop and flamenco dancers to vocal and drum performances. The airport’s animal ambassadors will be out in full force. And giveaways in the terminals will include a series of Super Bowl/Winter-themed MSP buttons and foldable terminal maps with disposable hand warmers attached.

Several airlines, including Delta, Southwest, American and United, have added flights to MSP from Boston, Philadelphia and many other major hubs for Super Bowl ticket holders and last-minute planners heading to the Twin Cities to partake of Super Bowl festivities.

In addition to the extra flights, American Airlines, the official airline for the Philadelphia Eagles, is handing out Eagles rally towels to all passengers flying on from Philadelphia to Minneapolis-St. Paul through Sunday, February 4.

And on Saturday and Sunday, United Airlines is serving “football favorites,” including hot dogs and macaroni salad, to customers visiting the carriers’ lounges in its hub cities. United Club visitors in Boston, Philadelphia and Minneapolis will also find extra treats, including lobster roll and New England clam chowder in Boston; Tastykakes and a build-your-own hoagie bar in Philadelphia; and Captain Ken’s Wagon Trail Chili (a Minnesota favorite) in Minneapolis.

 

Russell Wilson’s Fan Flight II on Alaska Airlines

Fan Flight jacket

Everyone in Seattle is pretty worked up about the Seahawks return to the Super Bowl. So it was no surprise that more than 80,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members from Oregon, Washington and Alaska (20 percent more than last year) entered a contest to win a spot on a special charter flight to Phoenix for a Super Bowl party on February 1. MVP Gold members could also bid miles – which would be donated to Children’s Hospital in Seattle.

The 56 contest winners – and their guests – along with 6 top mileage bidders (who bid a total of 2.2 million miles!) – enjoyed an inflight tailgate party to Phoenix and will be cheering on Russell Wilson, Alaska’s ‘Chief Football Officer’, and his team Sunday evening.

Here are some photos from the flight.

 

Airlines add flights for Super Bowl fans

Russell Wilson plane

Trying to find a flight to Phoenix, Arizona that will get you there in time for Super Bowl XLIX on February 1st?

Don’t give up.

Many regularly-scheduled flights are already sold-out, but airlines are adding special flights to their schedules to help fans get to the game.

Alaska Airlines has added two extra round-trip flights between Seattle and Phoenix; one on January 30th, the other on February 2nd.

The airline is also hosting Russell Wilson’s Fan Flight II: 56 lucky contest winners will be able to take a friend on a special flight from Seattle to Phoenix to attend a Super Bowl party. To enter you’ll need to be an Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan member and be a resident of Oregon, Washington or Alaska.

United Airlines is adding flights – 55 in all – from its hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark and San Francisco and adding nonstop service – from Jan.29 to Feb. 2 – from Boston and Seattle to Phoenix.

Delta Air Lines is adding service between Phoenix and Boston, Los Angeles and Seattle for Super Bowl fans.

JetBlue is adding a flight from Boston to Phoenix on January 30th and a return flight on February 2nd.

Southwest Airlines is adding both nonstop and connecting flights between Seattle and Phoenix Sky Harbor and between Boston and Manchester (New Hampshire) and Phoenix between January 29 and February 2.

US Airways is adding extra flights as well.

Airline perks for Seahawks and Patriots fans

Sunday was a big day for football fans (especially fans of the Seattle Seawhawks and the New England Patriots, of course) and airlines are helping get the celebrations for Super Bowl XLIX underway.

To celebrate the Seahawks win, Alaska Airlines is offering a free drink to everyone on a flight leaving Seattle on Monday, January 19:

For those who want to make quick plans to go the game, JetBlue is adding extra flights between Boston and Phoenix. In addition to the regular schedule of flights (already sold out), JetBlue is adding a flight leaving Boston on January 30, 2015 at 8:20 a.m. (arriving at 12:24 p.m.) and returning on February 2, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. (arriving at 6:10 p.m).

Sunday evening, Alaska Airlines teased about another special Super Bowl treat:

And early Monday Alaska Airlines announced a re-run of last year’s sweepstakes offering Mileage Plan members a chance to fly from Seattle to Phoenix on a special charter on Feb. 1.

“Russell Wilson’s Fan Flight II – For Strong Against Cancer,” a four-day sweepstakes is taking place on Alaska Airlines’ Facebook page.

Fifty-six prize winners will receive two round-trip tickets for an ‘inflight tailgate party’ from Seattle to Phoenix on its “Go Russell 737-900ER” aircraft. Winners will also get 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.

(I was able to tag along last year and it was a heap-of-fun!)

The sweepstakes is open to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members who are residents of Washington, Oregon and Alaska and winners will be notified by phone and email beginning on Friday, Jan. 23 at 8 a.m. PT. (Last year, winners told me they had a short window to answer the notification, so on Friday, be sure to check your email and voice mail right away.)

The airline is also adding extra flights between Seattle and Phoenix:

On Jan. 30 flights will head from Seattle to Phoenix at 1:30 p.m. and 5:55 p.m. and on February 2nd from Phoenix to Seattle at 5:55 p.m. and 10:25 p.m.

Twitter throwdown for Seattle & Green Bay Airports

Giant Super Bowl Football

As you might imagine, excitement is rising in cities that still have football teams in the running for this year’s Super Bowl.

And as Sunday’s game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers gets closer, hometown pride is in strong evidence on the Internet, where Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Green Bay’s Austin Straubel  International Airport are engaged in a good-natured Twitter throwdown that includes smack talk and a bet that involves cheese, coffee and team jerseys.

Here’s some of what played out on Thursday.

Both airports took a time-out Thursday night and will no doubt be back on the field on Friday. Stay tuned.

(Disclaimer: I live in Seattle. So, Go Seahawks!)