Fans from all over the country, but largely the East Coast, are headed home from Indianapolis early Monday morning after Super Bowl XLVI.
Staff at Indianapolis International Airport likened the traffic on Monday to that of the day before Thanksgiving or the day after the Indianapolis 500. Airlines added flights to New England and New York to accommodate the crowds.
Crowds at the airport were expected to be unprecedented, larger than the facility has ever had. About 24,000 travelers are expected to leave Indianapolis on Monday.
Well-heeled fans began arriving at the airport shortly after the game finished to board private jets, dropped off at Million Air, an executive service.
"It's been great, very nice," said Carrie Quinn as she prepared to leave Indianapolis.
Some business people opted to leave right after the game so they could be back at work Monday morning.
"We have a private jet, so I'm going from here to Albany, N.Y., then back to Alabama in the morning," said one man, who didn't want his name revealed. "That's the way it goes."
Celebrities also left Indianapolis late Sunday night and early Monday morning.
"I met Mike Douglas and Pat Riley," said Patrick Davis, a VIP driver. "That's been my crew for the whole weekend, and Cal Ripken Jr."
Some VIPs had to wait quite a while to leave Indianapolis because hundreds of planes were lined up to leave.
"At this rate tonight, it would be quicker to take a chopper," said one man who didn't want to be identified.
A 14-year-old boy didn't mind that his stay in Indianapolis was short.
"We just got here this morning, and we're going back home tonight," said the boy, who came to the Super Bowl with a family member.
There were so many private planes flying out of smaller airports, such as Eagle Creek and Indianapolis Regional, that temporary FAA towers were brought in to handle the load.
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