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

Jan 25, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

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

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.