TravelHow Las Vegas' airport plans to tackle the Super Bowl rush

How Las Vegas’ airport plans to tackle the Super Bowl rush

As any Taylor Swift fan will tell you, Super Bowl LVIII will take place Feb. 11 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, pitting the San Francisco 49ers against the Kansas City Chiefs.

More than 330,000 fans of football, sports betting and celebrations of all kinds are expected to descend on Sin City for Super Bowl weekend. At least half of those people are expected to arrive by plane.

Some of those flyers will arrive on private jets, but most will catch commercial flights to and from Harry Reid International Airport (LAS).


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“We know that Thursday, Friday and Saturday leading up to the game will be the busiest for arrivals and that Monday will be the busiest single day for departures,” LAS airport spokesperson Heidi Hayes said. “In fact, airlines have added more than 60 additional flights this weekend.”

What to expect at LAS

To welcome all those fans and send them home safely (and on time) after the big event, LAS airport has put together its own game plan.

“We want to get the fans excited as soon as they step off the plane,” Hayes said. “So we’ve added activations to greet those visitors and get them pumped for the weekend.”

Those activations include a replica “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign complete with a purple carpet for photo opportunities; official Super Bowl LVIII branding and logos at every turn; and Las Vegas showgirls and host committee volunteers on-site to greet fans and hand out swag.


Super Bowl fever will also extend to the airport restaurants, shops and concessions. Many will stay open for extended hours (and in some cases, 24 hours) after the game to offer fans football-themed decor and official Super Bowl merchandise.

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The Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other local, state and federal agencies also have their game plan in place.

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“TSA is working closely with other DHS agencies to coordinate efforts and ensure that, collectively, it is a safe and secure environment for anyone who is in the Las Vegas metro area leading up to and during the Super Bowl festivities,” TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers said.

What Dankers describes as the “all-hands-on-deck” approach will include TSA officers from 33 different airports around the country supplementing the local Las Vegas TSA workforce. Explosive detection canines and their TSA handlers from more than 20 airports will also join forces with the TSA canine teams based in Las Vegas.

This will provide an added layer of security at transportation venues, Dankers said, and at other high-profile events and venues around town.

Dankers said TSA’s Federal Air Marshal Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams will also work with local law enforcement officials “to provide a highly visible security presence” at the airport and at other locations associated with the Super Bowl.

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Bonus tips for Super Bowl fans flying to LAS

High volumes of fans arriving Feb. 8-10 will mean long lines at hotel check-in counters. To skip the lines, see if your hotel is one of the resorts that has set up a check-in counter in the airport baggage claim.

For passengers leaving Las Vegas, TSA checkpoints will be open 24 hours during the post-game peak departure time, Feb. 11-13.

TSA asks Super Bowl fans to pack official Super Bowl programs in their carry-on bags rather than in their checked bags. Remove the programs, which have metal holographic stickers, for screening.


LAS airport now has remote bag drop and check-in options at the Airport Rent-A-Car Center and at the Terminal 3 departures curb. The service is available to passengers flying on American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. (The car rental center is open 4 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the Terminal 3 departures curb is open 4 a.m. to noon.)

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Bags must be checked at least 90 minutes before a flight’s departure. While the remote check-in service is free, regular bag check fees will still apply.

There are other tips for Super Bowl travelers listed on the LAS website, including the 4-3-2-1 plan, which gives hour-by-hour suggestions for when to leave for the airport, make your way through security and be ready at the gate.

For more Super Bowl travel tips, check out this short video.

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