Flyin’ First Class, Up in the Sky
Yesterday, United Airlines announced that they would be helping Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans get to and from some games directly from the South Bend Airport. There will be direct flights to/from SBN to LAX, Atlanta, and RDU (Raleigh-Durham).
Originally seen by USC Athletics on their Twitter account, they were boasting that Trojan fans could take a direct flight from LAX to SBN for the game.
As part of our new partnership, @united has created a direct flight from LAX to South Bend so the #TrojanFamily can take over Notre Dame Stadium for the greatest intersectional rivalry in college football.— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) June 20, 2019
Book now: https://t.co/rRojOFq8x9#FightOn | #BeatTheIrish pic.twitter.com/xJftSJdtEI
This makes sense, since the LA Memorial Coliseum, USC’s home field, is now re-named the “United Airlines Memorial Coliseum.” The partership makes sense.
Now, these flights are not permanant fixtures at these airports. As United’s press release shows, these flights are available only for the weekends of the games. So, flights only run from SBN to ATL around 9/20-22. Flights from LAX run from 10/11-13. Flights to RDU run 11/8-10. And the Irish are not the only beneficiaries of these flights. Every weekend through the Notre Dame-Duke game, United is running a flight to/from different college towns.
This is a very interesting idea that will be intriguing to see how it plays out. As of now, all three flights to the home team’s airport from the away team’s airport (for the three Notre Dame games) are hovering around $500 for a roundtrip ticket via United’s website. These flights are called “United Express” flights. Prices for these flights continue to increase, as I’m sure demand is high for them.
The ratio of fans going on these flights, specifically for that LAX to SBN flight, will be interesting. Notre Dame fans are all over, and they are especially all over Southern California. Additionally, there already is a daily SBN to ATL flight available via Delta.
Regardless, options have opened up for Irish fans and for college football fans across the country where their teams might not play near big airport hubs.