San Jose

Bay Area Airports Expect Crush of Travelers Before, And After, the Super Bowl

Norm Mineta San Jose International Airport, and the other Bay Area airports, are all gussied up in the black-and gold-of Super Bowl 50.

On Thursday, three days before Sunday’s Super Bowl, San Jose got a crush of travelers, including a Denver Broncos fan who said he spent $21,000 on a four-ticket "Broncos Tailgate Package" with his buddies to the Big Game.

"Don't tell my wife," Justin Carrigan said of the exorbitant price tag. "I gotta follow my team"

And airport executives believe there will be another, bigger crush on Monday after the Big Game, held nearby at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

At Oakland International Airport, Southwest Airlines alone is expecting a 20 percent jump, according to the Mercury News.

San Francisco International Airport expects 1.3 million passengers through Super Bowl weekend, the newspaper reported. In particular, SFO is bracing for a 50 percent spike in travelers on Monday, the day after either the Carolina Panthers or the Denver Broncos take home the Lombardi Trophy.

Smaller airports are also bracing for the influx of private jets arriving in town.

The Hayward Executive Airport has never been busier, with VIPs, executives and celebrities flying in record numbers.

In Oakland, Kaiser Air expects a thousand planes to come in this weekend. The airport  has closed a runway just to park all the jets.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, more than a thousand private jets will also travel through the region’s airports large and small. In San Francisco, airport spokesman Doug Yael said about 75 private airplanes touched down Thursday and about the same number will land there on Friday - about 25 more than a typical day. In San Jose, airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes said about 90 private planes landed on Thursday.

Airport leaders are advising that anyone traveling this weekend show up at the airport at least three hours early.

EDITOR'S NOTE: NBC Bay Area misspelled the name of Justin Carrigan in earlier reports.

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