The Super Bowl Shuffle: Private Jets Line Up for Las Vegas
February 5, 2024
Every year, the Super Bowl provides the arena for the two best teams in the NFL to battle it out for the right to hoist the coveted Lombardi Trophy. Likewise, each year, a new city is rotated into hosting duties for the big game.
See how Flexjet navigates one of the largest private jet fly-in events of the year, what it takes to ensure each aircraft Owner’s preferences and timelines are managed and what you can do to avoid some of the more hectic days and timeslots of Super Bowl week ensuring the smoothest possible arrival and departure.
A BIG WEEKEND FOR PRIVATE JET TRAVEL IN THE SOUTHWESTERN U.S.
Years in the making, but with only just days to go until Super Bowl LVIII, Las Vegas is gearing up for a massive influx of visitors. This year, an FAA spokesman let local media know that an estimated 1,750 additional aircraft could be expected at Las Vegas area airports for the Super Bowl, with possibly an additional 700 private planes parked at airports during Super Bowl week. This remains 10%+ increase over both 2023 and 2019, which both saw about 1,600 flights – a record-setting indication of high demand in 2024.
The main airports that will experience the highest influx of travel requests are:
- Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) is the largest, most popular and centralized airport in the Las Vegas area for commercial aviation, but also sees plenty of private traffic – with two primary fixed base operators (private jet terminals).
- North Las Vegas (VGT) is a medium-sized airport for general, business, and corporate aviation purposes, conveniently located ten miles northwest of the Las Vegas Strip.
- Henderson Executive Airport (HND) is a small to medium-sized airport for general and corporate aviation purposes about 20 miles from the Las Vegas Strip.
This will also be the second year in which the Super Bowl will be played on the same weekend as the regionally significant WM Phoenix Open, another large draw for private jet travelers. The airspace of the southwest will certainly be seeing a lot of private aviation-related traffic the second weekend of February.
LANDING SLOTS – THE HOTTEST TICKET IN TOWN
Even under normal circumstances, Las Vegas can be one of the most in-demand destinations for commercial and private aviation travel, but add an event like the Super Bowl, happening in the city for the first time– the result is a busy and restricted Las Vegas airspace over the entire weekend.
When a Flexjet aircraft Owner needs to book a trip to a Super Bowl host city, our Owner Services Representatives coordinate with our Operations teams to ensure a list of your preferred arrival dates and times are established.
Planning a private flight into the host region requires additional foresight by our Operations team. Each flight into the area is subject to slot availability and the FAA imposes a reservation system in a first-come, first-served format.
During the lead-up to large fly-in events like this, Flexjet Operations proactively secures as many of these slots as possible to accommodate the expected demand of our aircraft Owners. However, the number that can be attained is restricted and may not be within the windows of time that precisely match every requested itinerary.
To best navigate this managed airspace environment, we recommend that those heading to the Super Bowl host city build in some flexibility to their desired landing and departure time and be amenable to utilizing all available airports within the region.
To accommodate the increase in private-plane traffic, local airports and fixed-based operators (FBOs) provide extra staff and resources to accommodate the influx of event-induced traffic and assess “event fees” as “operational offsets”. The host city municipalities and airport fixed-based operators impose these charges, and they are not initiated by your private jet travel provider.
KNOWING THE ROPES
A major benefit of utilizing an established fractional private jet provider like Flexjet during large-scale fly-in events is our years of experience navigating all of the operational nuances they present. This ensures our Owners the smoothest possible experience based on our expertise with the many operational factors that are within, and commonly beyond, our control surrounding major fly-ins like the Super Bowl.
Airport ramps and FBOs can be very hectic places around events leading up to and following the game. Upon arrival, Flexjet personnel are onsite to greet you and will see that your transition to arranged ground transportation is seamless. Upon departure, they will greet you at the FBO, ensure you are paired with your crew, shown to the aircraft and on your way.
INTERCHANGE WITHIN OUR ENTIRE FLEET OF BUSINESS JETS
Traveling to the Super Bowl is the kind of event that often dictates the need for a larger aircraft than your usual to accommodate your travel party.
At Flexjet, you can always interchange between any of the light (Phenom 300), midsize (Praetor 500), super-midsize (Praetor 600, Challenger 350/3500) and large (Gulfstream G450 and G650) aircraft within our fleet, ensuring that you always have access to the right aircraft for your unique travel requirements.