Super Bowl

Turkish Airlines & Morgan Freeman are back for the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl seems to be as much about the ads as it is about the football game. And for some people, it is all about the ads.

And this year, as in others, there will be a good representation of travel companies vying for eyes during the games.

On the list: Turkish Airlines. For its sixth ad to air during a Super Bowl, Turkish Airlines has once again enlisted actor (and voice of God) Morgan Freeman, who was also featured in the Turkish Airlines’ 2017 campaign.

 This new commercial is online now and set to air during the second quarter of the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 13, 2022. In it, Freeman tells us about the concept of Pangea and the theory that millions of years ago there was a single and connected supercontinent. The commercial features plenty of enticing airplane interior shots (Freeman does not fly economy) as well as computer-generated animation scenes showing continents and landmasses reconnecting.

Take a look.

If you’re curious about some of the other commercials Turkish Airlines has debuted around Super Bowls, we’ve added a few below.

Travel Tips for Super Bowl fans heading to Los Angeles

(This is a slightly different version of a story we wrote for NBC News online)

Football’s big day is coming up. The Los Angeles Rams are set to play the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl 2022 on Sunday, February 13 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA, less than 4 miles from Los Angeles International Airport.

If this is the year you are determined to be in the stands on game day – or at least in town for the festivities – here are some tips on how to get there, book a hotel, and get a ticket to the game.

Spoiler alert: It won’t be cheap.

Flying in for the Big Game

Local Rams fans can skip the plane ticket search because this year’s Super Bowl is being played in the team’s home stadium. But Cincinnati Bengals fans and others hoping to fly in for the game have a short window to look for and lock in last-minute flight deals. 

The good news is that in addition to the bustling Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) there are multiple commercial airports in the area. So, sports fans who don’t find a good fare into LAX can expand their search to nearby, smaller airports such as Long Beach (LGB), Burbank (BUR), Ontario (ONT), and others to compare fares. Plus, some airlines, including United, American, and Delta have added extra flights to help Cincinnati residents make their way to LA.

With the game just a few days away, there are still flights available, says Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, “But it’s getting more difficult to get them cheap.”

In addition to expanding the pool of cities (at both ends) when using search engines to find fares, Keyes says travelers should keep in mind that Southwest Airlines flights only appear on the Southwest site. Fans will also be able to find better-priced flights by expanding their travel dates beyond the weekend. “Consider making it a week-long vacation,” says Keyes. “Because fares will certainly drop by half the next weekend.”

Daily rental car rates, and the parking fees at hotels and at the stadium can be quite hefty, so Keyes also suggests checking car rental rates on Turo, an Airbnb-type service for rental cars, or relying on rides hailing services such as Uber and Lyft to get around.  

Wing in on a private jet

If you can’t find a good fare for a commercial flight or don’t want to deal with the hassle, another option to consider is flying in for the big game on a private jet.

In part, because the Rams are the home team and the Bengals are a small market team, the number of private jets heading to the game is expected to be below the record-levels set in 2014, when the Super Bowl was played in New York/New Jersey, and in 2020 when Miami hosted the big game, says Doug Gollan Editor-in-Chief of Private Jet Card Comparisons.

But there are still plenty of private jets heading to the Los Angeles region for the game this year and plenty of seats for those willing to pay the price and accept surcharges that can range up to 100%.

“From Cincinnati to Los Angeles and back on a jet that seats 8 passengers, I would expect the fare to be around $100,000,” says Gollan, “Although normally you could probably get that flight from around $70,000 roundtrip.”

While there are plenty of upsides to flying to and from the game on a private jet, Gollan notes that with one-off charters there could be some downsides. “If your provider cancels your flight, they won’t just rebook you on the next flight, as commercial airlines do,” he says. “They will requote the trip pricing based on the new aircraft they’ve sourced as a replacement, and you can either pay the new – higher cost or get a refund.”

And that may not be ideal for those who have game tickets and nonrefundable hotel and limo reservations.

In the airports

For those flying to the big game, the parties will start at the airports with pop-up souvenir stands and fan activities in the terminals.

To send Bengals fans off, Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport has a giant “WHO DEY” balloon sculpture and signage and will be handing out CVG bag tags and CVG/Bengals rally towels.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has hard-to-miss Super Bowl signage and a good-natured wager with CVG airport in which the CEO of the losing team’s airport will have to wear the winning team’s QB jersey for the day.

LAX also has a detailed travel “game plan” posted for travelers with information on everything from getting around the airport and in the city to tips for negotiating the busy times at the airport after the game.

For the past year or so, LAX, and other regional airports have been working with National Football League (NFL), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), among others to safety and security for travelers heading to and from the game, especially during the busy post-game “get away” on Monday, February 14.

“Our passenger projections show that the number of travelers departing airports in the LA area will be similar to what we routinely see on a busy holiday weekend,” said Lorie Dankers, a TSA spokeswoman.  She said in addition to some unseen precautions that will be in place, travelers will be able to spot some of the more than 30 TSA explosive detection canines and handlers working at the airport and other Super Bowl venues in the LA area.

Dankers says TSA’s key message to Super Bowl travelers is to arrive at the airport early and arrive prepared. That includes packing game souvenirs with significant monetary or sentimental value in carry-on luggage along with any Super Bowl souvenir programs.

Hotel Room and Home Rentals  

Average daily rates for hotels in the Los Angeles area have already surged to $445 a night, so you haven’t booked your Super Bowl lodging yet, be prepared to shell out some big dough and agree to a minimum length of stay.

“It’s the Super Bowl, so inflation is expected,” says Melissa Dohmen at Hotels.com, who notes that hotels in some top LA-are neighborhoods, including LAX, downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica are currently charging up to $1,500/night. Rates in South LA, East LA, Long Beach, and the LA Valley are trending lower, at about $150 to $300 per night.

For those looking to rent a vacation rental, Vrbo reports a surge in rates to an average $620/night. A search of Airbnb rentals in Inglewood, CA over Super Bowl weekend returned offerings for an average of $931/night.  

If you’re still looking for lodging, don’t give up.

“It’s definitely worth checking back closer to the game in case cancellations happen says Gaby Flores, Director of Sales & Marketing at Hilton Santa Monica. “Some hotels will receive cancellations close to the game. And most rates will drop down for last-minute arrivals, if they are not in a sold-out situation, to try and pick up those last-minute bookers.”

Need a ticket?

As of Tuesday, Super Bowl tickets were being offered for between $4400 and $22,000 apiece on sites such as StubHub, Ticketmaster, and Gametime.

Of course, it’s also possible to head to the LA area without a ticket to the big game and still have fun. Fans events and watching parties will be taking place all over the region. And tickets to the Super Bowl Experience, an interactive football theme park at the LA Convention Center are $40, but free for fans who get their 1st, 2nd, or booster COVID-19 vaccine at the center during the event.

LAX & CVG Airport Bet on Super Bowl 2022

It could get ugly.

But so far, officials from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) are being very civil about the wager they’ve made on whether the Los Angeles Rams or the Cincinnati Bengals will win Super Bowl 2022.

They’re calling it the Battle of Heartland vs. Hollywood. And, per the wager, the airport CEO of the team that loses Super Bowl 2022 will have to wear the QB jersey of the opposing team for a day.

We’re going to keep an eye on the Super Bowl competition on the field – and in the terminals.

In the meantime, for fans heading to Los Angeles for the Big Game, LAX has some travel tips to help you get there safely.

Airports celebrate mittens, Peeps, new terminals, and the Super Bowl match-up

We spent the weekend gathering up as many social media postings we could find that featured airport-themed images of Bernie Sanders and his mittens.

If you missed that, or want to see what we can up with, find the Stuck at the Airport #BernieMittens meme archive here.

You may have also missed our Airport Amenity of the Week. Some weeks we have a lot of airport amenities in the running. Last week, this table full of free Peeps at Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) in Allentown, PA was hands down the winner.

If you have a cool new airport amenity to nominate during this week, let us know.

We were also heartened to see some airports posting previews of future terminals. Thank-you Portland International Airport (PDX) and Nashville International Airport (BNA) for giving us some new spaces to look forward to.

And Tampa International Airport (TPA) and Kansas City International Airport (KCI) are very excited about the teams that will be playing in the Super Bowl this year.

Denver International Airport’s Puppy Bowl

Before this year’s Super Bowl kickoff, fans of football – and puppies – will be tuning in for Animal Planet’s 16th annual Puppy Bowl.

This year’s pre-Super Bowl event takes place at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb 3.

96 adoptable puppies from animal shelters around the country are lined up to play this year on Team Ruff and Team Fluff.

Comet – courtesy Animal Plante

But that’s not the only Puppy Bowl taking place this year.

Inspired by Animal Planet’s puppy-themed event, Denver International Airport will hold its own Puppy Bowl.

DEN’s event will take place in the center of the Jeppesen Terminal on Friday, January 31 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Adoptable puppies from Denver’s Dumb Friends League will play in Denver International Airports’ fifth Puppy Bowl. Members of DEN’s Canine Airport Therapy Squad (CATS) will serve as “rufferrees”.

The rules? Who cares – these are puppies.

Here are are few photos from past DEN Puppy Bowls, including some of the fun giveaways travelers can take home.

Adorable, right?