Sky Harbor Airport prepping for Final Four crowds

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Sky Harbor International Airport) (Source: Sky Harbor International Airport)

Over the next few days, some 70,000 people are expected to visit the Valley of the Sun for Final Four festivities.

The airport has been busy this month already, thanks to spring break and spring training.

But now, even more hoopla is headed our way.

The NCAA Phoenix Final Four events are taking place March 31 through April 3 in the Valley of the Sun, and fans will be filing in from both coasts of the nation to root for the University of South Carolina, the University of Oregon, Gonzaga University and the University of North Carolina.

Sky Harbor Airport officials are offering these tips to folks flying into Phoenix, or residents expecting out-of-town guests.

Travel Tips before the Final Four

  • Before flying to Phoenix, reserve your rental car in advance as vehicles may be limited for walk-up customers.
  • The PHX Sky Train connects the three terminals to the 44th Street PHX Sky Train® Station. That's where you can catch Valley Metro Rail and connect to downtown Phoenix, site of many Final Four fan activities.
  • Travelers staying in the Valley with friends or family can save time and avoid traffic by getting picked up at the 44th Street PHX Sky Train® Station. The station offers a free cell-phone waiting lot and it offers a handy alternative to avoid driving into the airport. Find out more:

Travel Tips for passengers departing on April 4 (the day after the game):

  • Remember 3-2-1. 3 hours before departure, check in at the ticket counter; 2 hours before departure, get in line at the TSA Security Checkpoint; and 1 hour before departure, be at your gate. Phoenix Sky Harbor is going to be busy. Give yourself extra time.
  • If you have an NCAA Final Four program, please place it in your carry-on bag. For questions about carry-on and checked items, visit
  • Check your flight status with your airline before coming to the Airport.
  • Check your bags before you get to the terminal with Early Bag Check if you're flying American, Southwest or United airlines. Use Early Bag Check at the 44th Street PHX Sky Train®Station, East Economy Parking, or before you get on the shuttle at the Rental Car Center. The service is free though airline bag fees apply.
  • Review current security wait times at before you arrive, and view them on our Flight Information Displays in the terminals and at the PHX Sky Train stations. 

Visit for additional travel tips.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, America's Friendliest Airport, has an annual economic impact of nearly $29 billion. Every day approximately 1,200 aircraft and more than 120,000 passengers arrive and depart at Sky Harbor. PHX Sky Harbor is funded with Airport revenue. No local tax dollars are used to support the airport.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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