Southwest Airlines and American Airlines are adding non-stop flights to the Super Bowl.
A one-way ticket from Kansas City to Tampa on Southwest costs over $700 at the time of writing.
Tickets to the big game will be limited to 22,000, split between the general public and healthcare workers.
Super Bowl LV is approaching as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prepare to take on Kansas City Chiefs in Tampa, Florida on February 7.
This year's championship match-up is slated to be unlike any in football history as an ongoing pandemic looms over this year's venue, Raymond James Stadium. Tickets will be harder than usual to come by and public health authorities have been warning against travel since the pandemic began, with the Super Bowl offering no exception.
A maximum of 22,000 tickets will be available, according to Action Network, but not all will be up for grabs by the general public. Of the 22,000, a total of 7,500 will go to select healthcare workers while the remaining 14,500 will be available for purchase.
The Super Bowl never fails to draw a crowd, however, and this year is no different, despite the warnings. And airlines are adding non-stop flights between the two cities to accommodate the traffic.
Kansas City fans flying in for the game will see non-stop flights offered to and from Tampa International Airport on American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Southwest currently serves the Kansas City-Tampa route with once-weekly service starting January 16, according to Cirium, while American's temporary route will be entirely new.
The first Chiefs fan flight departs Kansas City International Airport on February 4, the Thursday before the Super Bowl, at 8:00 a.m. operated by Southwest. Another Southwest flight will depart on Thursday with Friday and Saturday then seeing three non-stop flights each from the low-cost airline and countless more connecting options.
American is only offering a single fan flight, departing Kansas City on February 5 at 12:46 p.m. The return flight then departs at 1:30 p.m. on February 8, the day after the game.
Super Bowl-bound flyers will not, however, get the reprieve on airfare that most travelers during the pandemic have received. The lowest price for a non-stop Southwest ticket from Kansas City to Tampa one-way is a staggering $719 while American is offering a slightly more reasonable $244 one-way fare at the time of writing.
Return fares are similarly pricey, with American's fares rising to $470 at the time of writing. Both airlines are currently not blocking middle seats for social distancing but are requiring passengers to wear face masks.
Buccaneers fans lucked out as their home stadium will host the championship, saving would-be travelers thousands in potential travel costs. Insider's Taylor Borden estimated the cost of the most economical trip to 2020's Super Bowl 54 be around $6,000 when factoring in the cheapest flights, hotels, and tickets to the game, as well as a "low-key party option."
And with Super Bowl tickets selling for upwards of $24,000 due to limited supply, according to the Tampa Bay Times, some fans may see the $1,400+ round-trip airfare as a bargain. At least on Southwest that price tag comes with a free cup of water and some snacks, as Insider found on two Southwest flights taken during the pandemic.
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