Airlines enter their Taylor Swift era with not-so-subtle Super Bowl flights

Welcome to Las Vegas! The city is buzzing with excitement as the teams for Super Bowl XVIII have been set. The Kansas City Chiefs will be facing off against the San Francisco 49ers in this year’s big game, which will take place on February 11 at Allegiant Stadium. With less than two weeks to go until kickoff, airlines are adding additional flights between Vegas and both Kansas City and the Bay Area to accommodate the influx of football fans.

It’s not uncommon for airlines to increase their capacity during the Super Bowl to cater to fans traveling to and from the game. However, what’s particularly notable this year is the creativity and not-so-subtle references in the flight numbers assigned to these new Super Bowl-oriented routes. The airlines have clearly embraced the intersection of sports, music, media, and pop culture that defines the Super Bowl.

American Airlines, for instance, is adding a total of seven new nonstop flights between Kansas City International Airport and Las Vegas between February 8 and 13. These flights include departures from Kansas City on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, as well as additional return flights to Kansas City starting from hours after the game and running through Tuesday. The flight numbers chosen by American Airlines are clever nods to both the Chiefs and popular music icon Taylor Swift.

One flight number, AA15, is an ode to Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who wears jersey number 15. This flight will depart Kansas City on February 8 at 12:30 p.m. CST and arrive in Vegas at 1:35 p.m. PST. There will also be two return flights designated as AA15 on Monday and Tuesday after the game. Another flight, AA1989, references Taylor Swift’s hit 2014 album and is the flight number for two Vegas-bound flights from Kansas City on Friday and Saturday leading up to the game. Other flight numbers include AA1521, which honors Mahomes and his teammate Mike Edwards (jersey number 21), and AA87, a clear reference to star tight end Travis Kelce (jersey number 87).

United Airlines is also joining in on the fun. They have announced additional capacity between Vegas and both Kansas City and San Francisco International Airport. Their flight numbers also incorporate clever references to the teams and their histories. For example, UA1587 and UA2287 pay homage to Mahomes and Kelce, while UA1989 is a nod to fans who have recently become supporters of the team. Similarly, UA1995 represents the year the 49ers last won a Super Bowl, and UA1849 references the team’s historic legacy.

If you’re hoping to make last-minute travel arrangements for the Super Bowl, be prepared to pay a premium. Average airfare is expected to peak at around $500 round trip, but prices can vary depending on the route. For example, a round trip on the aptly designated flight 1989 from Kansas City to Vegas, with a return on the red-eye flight 87 after the game, would cost approximately $1,245 with American Airlines.

If you’re considering a trip to the Super Bowl, it’s advisable not to wait any longer. Make flexible hotel reservations and secure your airfare as soon as possible. With only 13 days to go, time is running out. Get ready for an unforgettable experience in Las Vegas as the city comes alive with the excitement of the Super Bowl.

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