Super Bowl 2014: Travel Guide to Flights and Airports

When an Econo Lodge in Jersey City commands $699 a night (normally $80), you know something’s up. Ready for some football?

Welcome to FareCompare’s Travel Guide to Super Bowl XLVII – Sunday, Feb. 2, in MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. We can help you get there but as airfare analyst Rick Seaney says, shop now: “If you don’t have your plane ticket yet, you cannot delay another moment.”

UPDATE (Jan. 22): Airlines add more flights for Super Bowl.

Listen: Rick Seaney with even more advice – from his recliner by the TV.

Where to Fly

Fortunately, the greater New York City area is served by several airports. Compare airports when pricing airfares to see which is cheaper from your city of origin. Click the airport name for fares.

First, the big three:

John F. Kennedy International (JFK): The major domestic and international hub is located in Jamaica on Long Island, relatively city-close.

  • Airlines: Just about every airline you’ve ever heard of (and many you haven’t)
  • Transportation: The list includes a wide range of options including taxis, limos, convenient (and cheap) bus service plus quick mass transit.

LaGuardia International (LGA): The airport closest to the stadium is located in Queens.

  • Airlines: All the large U.S. carriers plus Frontier, JetBlue and Spirit plus Canadian carriers
  • Transportation: The list, like JFK, includes multiple private and public options.

Newark (EWR): Liberty International is just south of the Meadowlands Sports Complex.

  • Airlines: Served by more than 20 U.S. and international airlines including Alaska and Virgin America.
  • Transportation: The list includes the same array of options offered for JFK and LaGuardia.

NOTE: All three airports listed above are served by the SuperShuttle.

Now the smaller two:

Islip (ISP): Its proper name is Long Island MacArthur Airport but most still call this small airport Islip (the first “i” is pronounced like “eye”). It’s in the middle of Long Island about 62 miles from the stadium.

  • Airlines: Allegiant, Southwest, US Airways Express
  • Ground transportation: The list includes taxis, car rentals, and the Long Island Rail Road.

Trenton Mercer Airport (TTN): Sometimes referred to as Trenton/Princeton, this smaller airport is becoming increasingly visible thanks to more frequent Frontier flights. It’s located about 64 miles southwest of the stadium.

  • Airlines: Frontier
  • Ground transportation: The list includes taxis, limo service, and connections to the Trenton train station for service to New York City.

When to Buy

If you haven’t already got your ticket, hurry. Prices are already high for flights to the New York City area and they won’t be dropping plus we’ve seen flights to New York-areas airports blacked-out of sales during the Super Bowl.

Ways to Save on Airfare

Try these strategies for savings:

  • Shop now: Make your purchase at least 7 days before departure
  • Compare prices on days to fly: Fridays and Sundays tend to be more expensive than other days. If you can be flexible on the days you fly, you could save significantly.
  • Change your departure city: If your hometown airport is in a small city, compare airfare prices from a nearby hub (or any larger airport); the savings could make a longer drive worth it.
  • Try connections: Compare prices for a direct flight and a connecting flight; a stop (or two) may be worth the inconvenience.
  • Save with carry-ons: Avoid the checked-bag fees, but note that Allegiant, Spirit and in some cases Frontier do charge for carry-ons (and this fee can be more expensive than checking a bag).

Now that you have your flight, will the hooves of the mighty Broncos pummel stalwart Seattle or will the savvy Seahawks peck away at dashing Denver with their baleful beaks? [Will I ever run out of inappropriately florid descriptions?] Who knows? But we sure do hope you have fun.


Published: January 21, 2014