Here are tips for flying out of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport after Super Bowl LVII
Feb 12, 2023, 6:30 AM | Updated: Feb 13, 2023, 7:52 am
PHOENIX — The Valley is hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors this week for Super Bowl LVII, and they have to go home at some point.
That’s why Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is preparing to see its highest number of travelers on record Monday after the confetti has fallen at State Farm Stadium.
In 2015, the last time Arizona hosted the big game, Sky Harbor saw 175,000 travelers the following Monday and is expecting even more traffic.
“This year were anticipating about 180,000 people to come through the airport that Monday after the Super Bowl,” Sky Harbor Communications and Outreach Administrator Heather Shelbrack told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “Monday after Super Bowl will be the single busiest day of the year.
“If you’re flying that Monday after the Super Bowl, we want you to get here extra early.”
Shelbrack said the average Monday consists of 120,000 people coming through the airport and 1,200 arrival and departure flights. The Monday after the big game is expected to have 1,500 flights in and out.
The airport is pushing its 5-4-3-2-1 strategy for travelers to make their trips:
- Check out of the hotel or home rental five hours before the flight
- Turn in any rental cars four hours before takeoff
- Check in at ticket counter three hours prior
- Get in line at the TSA security checkpoint two hours before
- Reach the gate an hour before flight time
For drivers, checking roadways before heading to the airport could make a difference with expected increased traffic. To those dropping off passengers, Shelbrack recommends doing so at the PHX Sky Train stations at 44th and Washington streets and 24th Street and Buckeye Road. Travelers can take the free trams to their terminals.
The 24th Street Station opened in December to help bridge the Rental Car Center to the airport.
Sky Harbor also encourages visitors to check their bags ahead of time. Early Bag Check is available Sunday and Monday for those taking American, Delta, Southwest or United flights, and those using the service must do so at least 90 minutes ahead of their departure time.
The PHX RESERVE program is another tool to save time in at the security check point, as travelers can reserve a spot in line up to six days before their flight. Security checkpoint line times will be available to monitor online and on screens at the airport.
Sky Harbor has been preparing for post Super Bowl Monday with the Phoenix Aviation Department for more than a year and will have increased staff and volunteers to assist those coming in and out.
“We will have extra volunteers on hand in addition to our navigators easily recognizable in their purple jackets,” Shelbrack said. “We will of course have additional airport staff as well as Super Bowl Host Committee volunteers who will be on site to answer questions.”
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.