Are you ready to take a bet on the Seahawks going all the way and buy a flight to the Super Bowl?
If so, you could save money by quickly buying airline tickets now — before Saturday’s Seahawks playoff game — for the Super Bowl in New Jersey. If the Hawks win Saturday, many more hopeful Seattle fans could get serious about heading to the Super Bowl and it could be tougher to nab good airfares and itineraries.
Some strategies for winning airfares
— Southwest Airlines could be your friend. Southwest doesn’t charge for changing or canceling flights. So if the Hawks don’t make it to the Super Bowl and you want to cancel your trip, you won’t be a financial loser.
The Southwest drawback: There are no nonstop flights from Seattle on Southwest to New York airports or Newark, N.J. (the closest airport to the MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., where the game will be played) so you’ll have to change planes somewhere and could have long stopovers.
— Alaska Airlines has nonstop flights between Seattle and Newark. But nonstops to Newark already are sold out on a few days just before the Super Bowl, with just a scattering of cheap tickets ($159 one way) left on Jan. 29 or Feb. 1. The next ticket level up is more than $600 one way, although at that price it’s fully refundable.
The Alaska drawback: If you buy one of the lower-fare Alaska tickets and cancel because the Hawks didn’t make it, you’ll have to pay a $125 cancellation/change fee. Other airlines have similar change fees.
You don’t need fly into Newark. Check out flights to other New York-area airports such as JFK or La Guardia which are served by multiple airlines from Seattle.
You even could consider flying to Philadelphia, about an hour from Newark by Amtrak train. USAirways and Alaska both have nonstops to Philadelphia from Sea-Tac Airport. Searching airfare sites on Thursday, I found a $386 nonstop, round trip on Alaska from Seattle to Philly, leaving on Jan. 31 and returning on Feb. 3.
An easy way to comparison-shop for flights is to check Expedia.com, kayak.com or other airline ticket websites that show multiple carriers and fares. Then book directly on the airline’s website as it makes it easier if you need to cancel/change a flight or run into problems.
Searching for Southwest: Be aware that Southwest’s flights aren’t listed on Expedia and other airfare websites: go directly to southwest.com
Get info on how to get to/from airports, the MetLife stadium, Manhattan and more at panynj.gov/SuperBowlXLVIII/