5-4-3-2-1: Travel tips for San Francisco’s big game weekend


As football fans around the country get ready for Sunday’s big game, Bay Area airports are preparing for the crush.

“In advance of the big game Feb. 7, we’re reminding all travelers to plan ahead and don’t underestimate the craziness that a major sporting event can bring to a city,” says Matt Prainito, Alaska Airlines’ managing director of operations and service administration. “Last year in Phoenix we saw a huge influx of travelers, with some customers missing flights because they didn’t anticipate the crowds and long lines on public transportation, rental car facilities and security alike.”

Alaska and its airport partners are preparing for the blitz by opening check-in counters early – Alaska’s will be open an hour earlier than usual in San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco. They are also joining Bay Area airports in encouraging travelers to follow the 5-4-3-2-1 method if they’re flying in or out of one of these airports.

5. Check out of your hotel 5 hours before your flight

4. Return your rental car 4 hours before your flight

3. Check your bags 3 hours before your flight

2. Get through security checkpoints 2 hours before your flight

1. Be at your gate 1 hour before your flight

As always, travelers are encouraged to check the status of their flights at alaskaair.com or through Alaska’s mobile app before heading to the airport.

Alaska operates 48 peak day nonstop flights to the Bay Area every day from 14 cities in Idaho, Oregon, Hawaii, Mexico, California, Nevada, Washington and Utah.

Read more: 3 ways to fly through airport lines (no cutting!)