Auburn Fans With Pasadena Plans? Travel Agents Say You Snooze, You Lose

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – As soon as it was announced that number two ranked Auburn will head to Pasadena to play in the BCS National Championship game against Florida State fans started making plans to go to the big game.

Travel agents say if you don’t make your reservations to head there now, you may find yourself watching the game from your couch or booking a trip to the nearest sports bar.

Destination championship football is a big money-maker for travel agencies swamped with relentless calls from rabid fans — but there’s a catch — about 80 percent of people book their tickets within the first seven days. Some agents say even that is not soon enough.

Sterling Travel agent Leslie Gesele says some California hopefuls took advantage of a package where clients could pay a small refundable deposit to reserve the booking.

“If they waited to se what the bottom line was, who was going, then yesterday we got a lot of phone calls and i think people were shocked by the price,” Gesele says.

Hotels are sold out in the land only package says Gesele but there are a few options left.

“What’s available right now is the charter flight to go to L.A. the day of, go to the game, fly home — there are a few of those seats left.”

As of noon today there were also about 30 packages left including 3 nights hotel stay and air service.

“The price is starting at $3,600 plus per person.”

And if you want to forego the travel packages and try to make it on your own?

“You’ll need tickets to the game. Airfare is going to be a lot higher if you can find a hotel —  so there are a lot of ifs,” Gesele says.

And the notion of driving to the game and sleeping in your car — likely not too appealing to most of the Auburn family.

“That’s a long haul,” laughs Gesele, “two, three days if you drive heavy to get to L.A. then you get there exhausted and sleep through the game.”

Bottom line: act fast. Gesele says the number of available travel packages regardless of their costs will surely dwindle rapidly.

Click here to visit the Sterling Travel web page, call them at 256-533-1301 or visit in person at 720 Madison Street in Huntsville’s medical district.

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