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Nancy Pelosi Gives 49ers Fan Window Seat on Flight to Super Bowl

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Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi board a flight from San Francisco to Las Vegas in San Francisco on Feb. 10, 2024. (Martin do Nascimento/KQED)

A San Francisco 49ers fan on a sold-out flight from San Francisco to Las Vegas had an unexpected upgrade on Saturday: A window seat, courtesy of Speaker Emerita of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

Tennyson Wilson, who grew up and lives in the city, was one of the last people to board the rambunctious flight headed to the Super Bowl on Saturday. He almost didn’t believe it when he realized who he was sitting next to.

Tennyson Wilson waits on the passenger ramp at SFO in San Francisco to board a flight to Las Vegas, unaware that he’ll be sitting next to Nancy and Paul Pelosi, on Feb. 10, 2024 (Martin do Nascimento/KQED)

“She was very nice. I originally had the middle seat and she offered to give me the window seat which was awesome. I think she read like five newspapers,” Wilson told KQED. “It was cool watching the machine work. It was like sitting next to your grandma, but doing way more work.”

The two chatted about their shared love of the 49ers and big hopes for the weekend’s outcome. On Sunday, the 49ers will play the Kansas City Chiefs. The two teams faced off in the Super Bowl in 2020, when the 49ers lost 20–31.

Nancy and Paul Pelosi step into the aisle to allow Tennyson Wilson to take his seat by the window on a flight from SFO to Las Vegas in San Francisco on Feb. 10, 2024 (Martin do Nascimento/KQED)

A win this weekend will be a big deal for 49s fans all over who have been waiting nearly three decades for another Super Bowl win.

“We talked about the Baltimore Superbowl when the lights went out,” said Wilson, who was traveling with his wife and friend, who sat a few rows behind. He said Pelosi seems “pretty confident in Brock Purdy in the Niners” and said they talked about “the excitement of just being here.”

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and Tennyson Wilson chat together on the flight from San Francisco to Las Vegas on Feb. 10, 2024. (Martin do Nascimento/KQED)

The U.S. representative was traveling to the game with husband Paul Pelosi. KQED asked Pelosi if this was his first Super Bowl. “Hell no,” he told KQED. “We’ve been to every Super Bowl the Niners have been in,” including in 1990 in New Orleans when the team beat the Broncos.

As for his thoughts on this year’s odds, Pelosi said, “that’s why we play the game.”

Alaska Airlines flight #13 lands in Las Vegas on Feb. 10, 2024. (Martin do Nascimento/KQED)

Wilson and the Pelosis were on a packed flight full of Niners fans heading off to Vegas. Many had plans to go inside the game, while others were traveling to be with friends and family in the area just to be close to the action.

Before boarding, a DJ and Warriors hype man Franco Finn got fans pumped up for their travels at the gate. Everyone on the plane was given a free flight from Alaska Airlines.

Tennyson Wilson stands up to deplane Alaska Airlines flight #13 on Feb. 10, 2024 (Martin do Nascimento/KQED)

Neil Liwanag of San Mateo even snagged a second free flight before takeoff for answering a Niners trivia question.

“I went to five road games this year. We’re just the best fan base,” Liwanag told KQED. He was feeling nervous heading into the big game, but had high hopes climbing on the flight Saturday morning. “I gotta be faithful and I gotta believe in my team.”

Tennyson Wilson and his wife walk through Harry Reid International airport in Las Vegas on Feb. 10, 2024. (Martin do Nascimento/KQED)

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