A lot of people have contacted me with the same question: “How do I save on my trip to the Super Bowl?” Well, despite being from Seattle, I’m not really a football fan. I can’t help you find tickets to the stadium or get them any cheaper, but I do have some advice about how to save money on getting to Phoenix, and getting around Phoenix once you’re there.
Phoenix has relatively few flights and is a fortress hub of US Airways. When a city is a fortress hub, it generally means that flights are more expensive because there is a single dominant carrier, which makes it harder for other airlines to compete. And let’s face it, airlines aren’t dumb. They know that these are special dates and they’re charging a premium for the flights.
Many sites suggest using hidden cities itineraries on US Airways. I actually don’t recommend this, because these can be very risky. So, while you might find a good deal on a flight to Phoenix (it’s not likely, but possible), or through Phoenix (possible, but with considerable risk), it’s fairly unlikely. that you’re actually going to find a good deal to anywhere within 300 miles of the place. That’s why I think alternate cities are a better strategy for the Super Bowl.
Often overlooked, there are airports in Ontario and Palm Springs, California. If you are traveling to the Super Bowl, you should consider both. These airports are both a reasonable drive from Phoenix and also, as of this writing, have far more reasonable prices for rental cars than any rental agency in Phoenix. There aren’t many direct flights to either place, and you’ll probably have to take a connection along the way. However, even if one of the connections passes through Phoenix, it’s probably best to continue all the way to California. Most rental cars are sold out in Phoenix during the Super Bowl at this point, and the few remaining cars are very expensive. However, there are still plenty of rental cars available in Ontario and Palm Springs for the same dates. Palm Springs is less than a 3 hour drive from Phoenix, so this is a particularly attractive destination. As of this writing, flights to both destinations from many cities cost as little as 1/3 the price of a ticket to Phoenix.
It’s also worth considering the cost of hotels. The Super Bowl will be held on the west side of Phoenix. The farther you get from the center of Phoenix, the less expensive hotels are. In fact, some $70 rooms are still available at the Black Canyon Motel 6 location. Since the Phoenix airport is on the east side of town, hotels near the airport and near the Super Bowl stadium seem to be the most expensive. Having a rental car will give you considerable flexibility in where you stay, and may help to save you a fortune. Speaking of rental cars, fuel is usually much less expensive in Arizona than it is in California. Costco tends to have the lowest prices, if you’re a member. There is also a Costco in Palm Desert, California, where you can fill up before returning the car to the airport.
If you are traveling to the Super Bowl, I hope this was helpful. I definitely won’t see you there, but I hope you both have fun and save money!