Super Bowl Popularity

Patrick Surry - Jan. 31, 2016

Summary

  • Flights from Seattle and Denver to the New York area increased in popularity by 36% to 52% and constitute the top 6 of the top 10 US markets with the highest demand increase in the last week.
  • However, demand for Super Bowl flights is down at least 20% compared to last year.

Popularity of Flights to the Super Bowl

More than a million people are expected to visit Super Bowl Boulevard, Jan. 29 through Feb. 1 (1), and as seen in Table 1, flights from Seattle and Denver to the New York area make up 6 of the top 10 domestic routes with the highest popularity increase in the last week.  Due to the Seattle and Denver teams making the super bowl, travel from both cities to NY has increased between 36% and 52%, with Seattle seeing slightly higher percent increases than Denver.

Origin City

Destination City

Origin Airport

Destination Airport

10 percentile price

Price trend

Demand trend

Seattle

New York City

SEA

JFK

318

steady

+52%

Seattle

New York City

SEA

LGA

367

+8%

+50%

Seattle

New York City

SEA

EWR

328

+3%

+50%

Denver

New York City

DEN

EWR

239

+2%

+42%

Denver

New York City

DEN

LGA

228

+4%

+38%

Denver

New York City

DEN

JFK

218

steady

+36%

Philadelphia

Seattle

PHL

SEA

242

+9%

+32%

San Francisco

Austin

SFO

AUS

244

+12%

+20%

Detroit

Myrtle Beach

DTW

MYR

153

-1%

+20%

Atlanta

Portland

ATL

PDX

258

-7%

+20%

Table 1: Top 10 most popular domestic origin-destination pairs for the week of January 19, 2014.

However, the popularity of travel to the Super Bowl appears to be lower this year than last year, no doubt due to the wintry weather.   Figure 1 shows flight search demand for travel to the NY area relative to overall search for travel in the US for two weeks before and after the Super Bowl.  Although NY flight demand for dates leading up to the Super Bowl trends above the national average, it’s not substantially higher than other travel peaks to the area.  In comparison, Figure 2, shows that demand for dates leading up to the New Orleans Super Bowl and subsequent Mardi Gras sharply peaked.  After correcting for relative demand and advance purchase patterns, flight demand for the Super Bowl this year is down at least 20% for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Figure 1: Search volume for the New York area (EWR, JFK, LGA) normalized to US traffic.  We observed an estimated 58,167 additional searches occurred due to the Super Bowl (arrival dates 2014-01-29 thru 2014-02-01).

Figure 2: Search volume for travel to New Orleans normalized to US traffic.  We observed an estimated 72,674 additional searches for last year’s Super Bowl, followed by a slightly smaller spike for Mardi Gras the following weekend.

  • Click here for a market report for Seattle (SEA) to Newark (EWR)
  • Click here for a market report for Denver  (DEN) to Newark  (EWR)

Data and Methodology

The data presented in this analysis comes from Hopper’s combined feed of Global Distribution Service (GDS) data sources which includes about 10 million queries and 1 billion trips per day.  Demand is represented as the number of queries not actual ticket purchases, and is calibrated across all GDS sources for each market.  The fare prices presented are the 10th percentile prices and represent a good deal.  For example if the 10th percentile price is $800 dollars it means that only 10% of trips are priced at or below this price.

The top ten most popular routes are determined by search volume for the week of January 19, 2014.  Any changes in popularity or price are determined by a comparing results for the week of January 19th to the popularity and price on the same route during the previous month.

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