Penn State football: Flight details for the biggest games

With the start of the college football season weeks away, there are still plenty of options to get to Penn State’s biggest games this fall.

University Park Airport has added flights during the weekends of the Michigan and Ohio State games for fans who want to see the Nittany Lions in person (or just get out of town).

“Prior to each college football season the airlines look at opportunities to add flights to accommodate the demand of fans who want to travel to high-profile games,” Bryan Rodgers, University Park director, said in an email. “University Park Airport is then able to provide college football fans with a quick and easy way to travel to cheer on their team.”

Flights have also been added from Philadelphia for fans traveling to the Nittany Lions’ Sept. 17 games against Auburn.

Bound for Michigan

Fans have more ways to get to the Oct. 15 game at Michigan.

United has added direct flights between State College and Detroit on Oct. 14 and 16 as well as additional flights between State College and Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. The airline will also fly larger planes between its Chicago hub and Detroit on those days, an airline representative said.

The Oct. 14 direct flight departs State College at 5:01 pm and arrives in Detroit at 6:26 pm, United’s website shows. The airline also has seats available that day on two other routes from University Park Airport to Detroit: one leaves State College at 6 am and connects in Newark, and the other leaves State College at 12:15 pm and connects in Chicago.

The Oct. 16 return flight departs Detroit at 1 pm and arrives in State College at 2:27 pm Two other flights are available from Detroit to State College with a connection in Chicago: they are scheduled to leave at 5:49 am and 11: 30 am, respectively.

United says it will add about 120 flights to its schedule for college football fans across the country.

Delta regularly flies non-stop between University Park Airport and its Detroit hub once a day, and the weekend of the Michigan game will be no different. The Oct. 14 flight departs State College at 3:45 pm and arrives at 5:10 pm The Oct. 16 flight leaves Detroit at 1:45 pm and arrives in State College at 3:01 pm

The Nittany Lions most recently played in Ann Arbor during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Penn State took the victory 27-17 to start a season-ending four-game winning streak. The Nittany Lions lost last season’s home matchup to the Wolverines, 21-17.

Michigan defenders reach for Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson during the game on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. Abby Drey

Away to Auburn

Penn State’s other high-profile road game is also getting special treatment from the airlines. American is adding direct flights from Philadelphia to Montgomery, Alabama, for the Sept. 17 games at Auburn.

The nonstop flight Sept. 16 leaves Philadelphia at 6:30 pm and arrives in Montgomery about 2 1/2 hours later, American’s website shows. The return flight leaves Montgomery at 6 am the next day.

One round-trip flight is scheduled Sept. 18. The plane is scheduled to depart Philadelphia at 8:30 am and arrive in Montgomery at 10:05 am The return trip is scheduled to depart Montgomery at 11 am

American offers two daily flights between State College and Philadelphia, offering fans the opportunity to connect with the Montgomery flights. The airline also lists several itineraries with multiple stops.

In all, American is adding about 70 nonstop flights for college football games this fall, the airline said.

The Penn State-Auburn game is scheduled to kick off at 2:30 pm local time (3:30 pm in Pennsylvania). The schools met last season at Beaver Stadium, and the Nittany Lions won the White Out game 28-20.

Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker and cornerback Joey Porter Jr. stop Auburn’s ball carrier during the game against Auburn on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Abby Drey

Ohio State on the way

United will add several direct flights for Penn State’s Oct. 29 home game against Ohio State, including nonstop service between Columbus and State College. The Oct. 28 flight departs Columbus at 11:55 am and arrives in State College at 1:18 pm Four other flights are available between Columbus and State College: three connect in Chicago and the other connects in Newark.

The airline also plans additional flights between Chicago/State College and Newark/State College.

Other Oct. 28 departures:

  • Chicago to State College: 7:34 am, 8:45 am, 11:20 am, 3:35 pm, 6:43 pm
  • State College to Chicago: 7 am, 11:05 am, 12:05 pm, 1:55 pm, 3:30 pm, 7:15 pm
  • Newark to State College: 3:35 p.m., 6:05 p.m., 10:30 p.m
  • State College to Newark: 6 am, 5:25 pm, 7:50 pm

The nonstop flight Oct. 30 leaves State College at 12:10 pm and arrives in Columbus at 1:45 pm United’s website shows two other itineraries to Columbus: one leaves State College at 3:15 pm and connects in Chicago, and the other departs State College at 5:48 pm and connects in Newark.

Other Oct. 30 departures:

  • State College to Chicago: 6:45 am, 10:55 am, 3:15 pm, 5:42 pm
  • Chicago to State College: 7:35 am, 8:45 am, 11:15 am, 2:16 pm, 6:18 pm
  • State College to Newark: 6 am, 5:48 pm, 7:05 pm
  • Newark to State College: 3:50 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 10 p.m

Penn State fell to Ohio State last season in Columbus, 33-24. The teams’ most recent game at Beaver Stadium was in 2020. The Buckeyes won on Halloween night, 38-25.

Penn State cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields stops Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson during the game on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021 at Ohio Stadium. Abby Drey


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