Skift Take

This zero-cost marketing move by American helps associate the brand with the Super Bowl buzz in a fun way.

You’d better be swift to catch Flight AA1989. The Super Bowl LVIII takes place in Las Vegas on February 11, and American Airlines has spied a unique way to get involved. The Nevada competition will see the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers battle it out, but there’s another story off the field that has also caught public attention.

With pop star Taylor Swift dating the Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce, the airline has had some fun with its flight numbers. Two special AA1989s will operate between Kansas City and Las Vegas, bringing football fans to the biggest game of the year. 

On February 9 and 10, an Airbus A321neo will depart the Midwest city at 12:30 pm and touchdown in Nevada at 1:35 pm. As any Swiftie will tell you, 1989 is the year of the singer-songwriter’s birth and the name of one of her best-selling albums. 

Flight AA87 to Kansas City

That’s not all – KC fans taking a return flight home also have the opportunity to travel in style. Those making a swift exit after the game can book Flight AA87 – a tribute to Kelce’s jersey number. This service leaves Vegas at 12:20 am on February 12, arriving back in Kansas City at 5:30 am. 

American Airlines Flight AA87 departs Las Vegas just after midnight on February 12

AA1989 is usually assigned to the carrier’s service between Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, AA87 usually appears on the London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare route. 

DateFlight NumberDep CityDep TimeArrival CityArrival Time
Feb 8AA15Kansas City (MCI)12:30 pmLas Vegas (LAS)1:35 pm
Feb 9AA1989Kansas City (MCI)12:30 pmLas Vegas (LAS)1:35 pm
Feb 10AA1989Kansas City (MCI)12:30 pmLas Vegas (LAS)1:35 pm
Feb 12AA1521Kansas City (MCI)6:00 amLas Vegas (LAS)7:10 am
Feb 12AA87Las Vegas (LAS)12:20amKansas City (MCI)5:00 am
Feb 12AA15Las Vegas (LAS)8:30 amKansas City (MCI)1:10 pm
Feb 13AA15Las Vegas (LAS)9:30 amKansas City (MCI)2:10 pm

As well as nods to Taylor and Kelce, the airline also has a few other special flight numbers planned. AA15 is named after Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, while AA1521 is a combination of Mahomes and KC’s safety Mike Edwards.

Taylor-tastic Puns

As you might expect, the American Airlines social media team has been making the most of the flight number frenzy, and there have been Taylor jokes a’plenty. Among the responses to excited fans from the company’s official account were:

With the host venue being the Allegiant Stadium, this is a subtle way for American to score some bonus brand recognition from its low-cost rival.

Skift contacted American Airlines for comment and received this Taylor-made reply from a company spokesperson: “The excitement surrounding this year’s sporting events has never been greater. You could say that after tonight’s games, we are in our football era. To our customers who are huge sports fans, look what you made us do…”

Vegas Prepares for Super Bowl Boom

As Skift has previously reported, the short-term rental market sees huge spikes in demand and pricing around Super Bowls and Taylor Swift concerts. The prospect of the star appearing in the audience to cheer on the Chiefs multiplies this phenomenon further still.

Looking beyond the Taylor factor, the arrival of the Super Bowl LVIII is a huge deal for Las Vegas. Next month’s event will mark the first time the football final has been held in Nevada, and local tourism leaders are determined to make the most of it.

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority even launched an official petition on, proposing that ‘everyone in Las Vegas must be allowed to celebrate freely on February 11, 2024,’ with excessive celebration encouraged. 

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Tags: american airlines, las vegas, sports, super bowl, taylor swift

Photo credit: Airbus Airbus / Airbus

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