Why American Airlines just added 3 new routes, but only put 1 of them on sale

Jan 25, 2021

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Flying to the Super Bowl? American Airlines is ready to take you to the big game.

During the weekend, the Fort Worth-based carrier added three new one-off routes to its schedule, in anticipation of the NFL conference championship games played on Sunday, Jan. 24.

But it only put one of them on sale — here’s what happened.

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With the Super Bowl being held in Tampa on Feb. 7, die-hard fans with (very) deep pockets will likely want to see the faceoff in person.

However, getting to Tampa (on a commercial jet) could prove to be a challenge, especially if you want to fly nonstop.

Going into Sunday, the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the last four teams in the NFL playoffs.

Based on the outcome of the two championship games, the Super Bowl match off would be determined. In anticipation of the rush to book Tampa-bound flights, American added new nonstop flights to the host city from Buffalo (BUF), Kansas City (MCI) and Milwaukee (MKE) on Feb. 5 and Feb. 8 — the Friday before and Monday after the Super Bowl, respectively — to the host city, according to Cirium schedules.

When the Chiefs and Buccaneers won, American knew there’d be little interest from frustrated fans in Buffalo and Milwaukee to fly down to Tampa. So, despite those flights being added to the schedule, it never actually put them on sale.

But, of course, there are now plenty of Kansas City fans making last-minute plans to escape the cold attend the game. And American is prepared to get you there.

On Sunday night, the carrier quickly put its one-off Kansas City to Tampa flights on sale. Cirium schedules show and the carrier confirmed that it added two flights, one each way, on the 76-seat Embraer 175 operated by Republic Airways.

American also took to Twitter to promote its new flights, hoping to gain attention from Kansas City fans.

As expected, the flights are expensive. For now, one-way fares start at $344 for coach and $503 for business class for the outbound to Tampa. The return starts at a whopping $491 in coach. If you’re looking to redeem miles, flights start at 71,000 miles roundtrip in coach and 119,000 miles roundtrip in biz.

Despite the sky-high fares, American is currently the only carrier offering nonstop flights in the market, according to Cirium schedules. With resale tickets starting at more than $9,000 and significant capacity caps on Super Bowl attendance, American clearly reasons that flights are just a small drop in a very large bucket for die-hard fans.

In years past, many U.S. carriers have added one-off flights to the Super Bowl to capitalize on this surge in demand. It remains to be seen if — and when — other airlines will enter the market.

Until then, if you’re looking to get to the big game, American Airlines is your best bet. Or you could try catching a ride on one of the many private jets that are sure to descend on Tampa in just under two weeks.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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