American Airlines adds 68 new direct flights for college football

American Airlines adds 68 new direct flights for college football

Photographer: Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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American Airlines is gearing up for college football season by adding flights for fans.

What’s happening: The world’s largest airline, which has a major presence at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, will add 68 new direct flights catering to college football this fall. Flights go on sale Tuesday, May 17.

  • Plus, they’ll fly bigger planes on Oct. 8 and Nov. 5 for Texas A&M at Alabama with flights between Birmingham-Shuttlesworth and Dallas-Fort Worth and Alabama at LSU for flights between Baton Rouge and DFW.

    New Charlotte flights are limited, but if Clemson at Notre Dame on Nov. 5 is on your 2022 bucket list this college football season, here are your options for the Charlotte area:

    • Nov. 4: One flight from Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina (GSP, about an hour and a half drive from Charlotte) to South Bend, Indiana (SBN).
    • Nov. 5: One flight from SBN to CLT and one flight from CLT to GSP.
    • Nov. 6: One flight from CLT to SBN and one round-trip flight between SBN and GSP.

    Yes, but: American Airlines spokesperson Brian Metham said these flights are in addition to what the airline already offers. For instance, between Nov. 4-6, there are nine round-trip flights between CLT and SBN. 

    • From Friday, Nov. 4 through Monday, Nov. 6, I’m counting a total of nine round-trips between CLT and SBN once these flights are added to the schedule. The updated schedule will be available for sale on Monday.

    My thought bubble: This is great news for Axios’ Katie Peralta Soloff, a Notre Dame alumna, who loves her Fighting Irish.

    • She flew to Chicago last October to watch Notre Dame and North Carolina in South Bend. As she put it, the game was great, but travel back was problematic, as thousands were stranded by American Airlines due to weather issues and crew shortages.
    • Fingers crossed these new routes make for a better experience.

    Yes, but: You can fly from LaGuardia in New York to South Bend on Friday and Sunday for all home Notre Dame games, which are Sept. 10 and 17, Oct. 15 and 22 and Nov. 5 and 19.

    Here’s a look at the other flights:

    1. Orange Blossom Classic

    Head to Miami for the Orange Blossom Classic between Florida A&M at Jackson State on Sept. 4. Flight options, all of which are round-trip and between Miami and Jackson, Mississippi, include:

    • Sept. 1: Two flights
    • Sept. 2: One flight
    • Sept. 3: One flight
    • Sept. 5: Three flights

    Photo: Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    2. Alabama at Texas

    If you’re eagerly awaiting Texas joining the SEC in 2025, you’ll get a taste of what to expect on Sept. 10. Flight options, all of which are round-trip and between Austin, Texas and BHM, include:

    • Sept. 9: One flight
    • Sept. 11: One flight

    Photo: Tim Warner/Getty Images

    3. Penn State at Auburn

    It’s the battle of big cats with the Nittany Lions heading to the Tigers on Sept. 17. Flight options, between Philadelphia (PHL) and Montgomery, Alabama (MGM), include: 

    • Sept. 16: One flight from PHL to MGM
    • Sept. 17: One flight from MGM to PHL
    • Sept. 18: One round-trip flight between PHL and MGM

    Photo: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

    4. Wisconsin at Ohio State

    It’s a Big Ten battle on Sept. 24. American is adding round-trip options between Columbus, Ohio and Madison, Wisconsin on:

    • Sept. 23: One flight
    • Sept. 25: One flight

    Photo: Dylan Buell/Getty Images

    5. Tennessee at LSU

    SEC football heats up on Oct. 8. New flight options, both of which are round-trip between Knoxville, Tennessee and BTR, include:

    • Oct. 7: One flight
    • Oct. 9: One flight

    Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    6. LSU at Florida

    Did you know Axios’ Laura Barrero is a Florida alumna? Go Gators! These SEC rivals face off on Oct. 15 in Gainesville, Florida. American added two flights to get you to and from the Swamp:

    • Oct. 14: One flight between BTR and GNV
    • Oct. 16: One flight between BTR and GNV

    Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    7. Iowa at Ohio State

    It’s Hawkeyes and Buckeyes on Oct. 22. New flights between Cedar Rapids, Iowa and CMH are:

    • Oct. 21: One flight
    • Oct. 23: One flight

    Photo: Matthew Holst/Getty Images

    8. Florida at Texas A&M

    Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    It’s an SEC battle between the Gators and the Aggies on Nov. 5. New flight options between GNV and College Station, Texas include:

    • Nov. 4: One flight
    • Nov. 6: One flight

    Bonus: If you’re traveling domestically on a narrow-body American plane, such as the Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 family aircraft, you’ll have free access to live sports and news networks 24/7 with inflight entertainment on your device.

    What they’re saying: “American is making it easier for college football fans to get from the gate to the gridiron this fall,” Jason Reisinger, American’s managing director of Global Network Planning, said in a statement. “With new nonstop flights and more seats, we’re helping fans see the action in person. The American team is ready for game day with the youngest fleet of any U.S. network carrier and service that is second to none.”

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