Despite airlines' efforts to bolster the supply of non-stop seat between Sea-Tac Airport and New York next week to accommodate Super Bowl-bound travelers, seats are becoming both increasingly rare and expensive.
Both United Airlines and US Airways have added five flights each to their cross-country schedules in the days immediately before and after the big game between the Seahawks and the Denver Broncos Feb. 2.
Those added flights are already nearly full. The remaining seats on those flights and the nine other daily non-stops between the two cities are relatively expensive especially considering the normal sales prices available during the low-travel winter season.
The lowest price available for a Big Apple roundtrip for a Jan. 31 departure and a Feb. 3 return trip on Kayak.com Friday was $634 on United Airlines. That flight combination involved a red-eye, late night flight with a connection in Houston and an early morning return the day after the game, again with a Houston stop.
SeaTac-based Alaska Airlines was reporting Friday both of its daily non-stop flights between Sea-Tac Airport and Newark's Liberty Airport were booked up in coach for several days before and after the game.
On other airlines, non-stop first class seats were available for as low as $1,121 roundtrip.
Flying to Philadelphia instead of any of the three New York airports offers a small cost advantage -- seats were available Friday for a little under $600 roundtrip -- but the cost of commuting to New York from Philadelphia could wipe out that cost advantage.
If you're stymied by the lack of seats and their expense and you're feeling lucky, you could enter Alaska Airlines' "Russell Wilson 12th Fan Airlift Sweepstakes to the Big Apple."
Here's how it works:
Residents of Washington, Oregon and Alaska can enter the sweepstakes and review the rules at http://www.facebook.com/AlaskaAirlines through Sunday night.
Winners will be notified Monday. Winners will receive two tickets aboard an Alaska flight leaving Feb. 1, two nights of hotel accommodations and transportation to and from the airport and the hotel. The prize winners will receive an invitation to a game day party at a midtown Manhattan venue.
What's not included are Super Bowl tickets. For those, you're on your own.
The airline is also auctioning off the five pairs of first-class seats. The airline's MVP Gold and Gold 75K mileage plan members are eligible to participate. The currency used in the seat auction will be frequent flier miles.
Miles raised in the auction will be matched by the airline and donated to Seattle Children's Hospital. The airline's "chief football officer," Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson regularly visits young patients at the hospital. The airline has been donating 100,000 miles to the hospital for each passing or rushing touchdown Wilson made during the regular season. Alaska is raising that donation to 200,000 miles per touchdown pass or rush in the Super Bowl.