Real Answers from Real Pilots

Flying sport teams

Hello everyone, just wondering about flying professional sport team. So are they chartered flights within the airline or they just get tickets in advance for their flight? Also can you choose to pick these flights or are they hard to come by? It would be pretty cool to fly around some of the best athletes.

Thanks, Jesse

Jesse,

I have flown many, many sports charters at United. The team contracts out the whole airplane, they have specially selected Flight Attendants, personalized catering and we often pick them up and drop them off at a remote part of the airfield. These trips are typically part of the bid packet and are available to anybody who wants to bid them. I like flying them because we get to fly into different, sometimes smaller, airports than usual and it is just a nice break from the daily routine. I have never once spoken to an athlete though, United has a strict no autograph policy and quite frankly we are too busy to talk to anybody even if we had time.

I always enjoy the charter flights and the different challenges that they present.

Chris

Thanks Chris makes sense. That’s too bad you can’t speak with them…

Jesse,

It doesn’t bother me at all, but I am not a sports fan. Plus, after a long game these guys/gals are tired and generally just want to be left to themselves to sleep or relax.

Chris

Jesse,

Like Chris I’ve flown many sports charters and talking with the athlete’s (other than a casual greeting) is a BIG NO NO. This is their down time. One nice perk though is the flights usually have some exceptional catering!

Adam