Roughly 20 NFL teams facing loss of chartered flights

Getty Images

Road trips may soon be getting more interesting for NFL teams.

Per a league source, roughly 20 teams may end up without charter arrangements for the 2017 season. According to Forbes.com, American recently suspended its charter arrangements with six NFL franchises: the Cardinals, Ravens, Colts, Jaguars, Dolphins, and Steelers.

According to the Forbes report, American will continue to service the Panthers, Cowboys, and Eagles.

The reason given for the suspension of service is that the airline lacks the machinery to do the job. A cynic would predict that it’s the first step toward a supply-demand effort by American to throw a thumb or two onto the scale for cost-insensitive clients.

The issue, based on information from PFT’s source, extends beyond American Airlines. Delta is believed to be doing the same thing, and United could be next. The source said that roughly 20 teams currently don’t have a charter provider for the coming season, and that it could become a “real issue” for the league.

123 responses to “Roughly 20 NFL teams facing loss of chartered flights

  1. Fly commercial, even first class.

    Not ideal – but you’ll get to where you need to be.

  2. Going to be great seeing some of these teams flying commercial this year…haha!

    Seriously, how can a league that has ~$14b in revenue not get this crap setup well in advance and have a plan B?

  3. National Greed League – “What you want to get paid to do charter flights for us? The privilege of serving the NFL should be a free service for companies like yours!”

  4. OH NOES what will the poor billionaire owners of the NFL do? Oh of course, they’ll pass the increased costs onto the fans! That’s a well that will never run dry.

  5. No real loss if United can’t fly any of the teams. The last thing I’d want is my team’s long-snapper or outside linebacker or whoever getting the crap kicked out of them and dragged off the plane and ending up on the injury report that week.

  6. Seems simple to me. The league, worth billions of dollars, should either purchase or found a charter airline service. That way, they have full control over the planes, personnel and such. Then they should charter their planes out to other sports teams (college), or other people who just want to pay big money to fly on an NFL plane. Would probably be a money maker, or at least break even with what they’re currently spending.

  7. Miami owner has the money to buy a plane and hire a flight crew for the fish, then charter out the plane when the fish don’t need it. Bill…p.s. his fellow owners will get the hint and not depend on the major airlines for there business. It may come down to ” Greed VS Greed “.

  8. I am going to hazard a guess that if the guy refusing to give up his seat on that United flight was an NFL lineman, that tough guy cop would have made it his very last alternative to drag him out and rough him up. Just a guess.

  9. RavenzGunnerz says:
    Apr 17, 2017 12:28 PM
    That’s fine. My Ravens can handle United Airlines. They are as tough as it they come.

    ——————————

    8-8

  10. Guess it is time for the NFL to tell taxpayers that they need to also buy planes for the NFL owner in addition to the stadium.

    No planes, no stadium, the NFL owner will move the team to a city whose taxpayers will fund the billionaire.

  11. jimmysee says:
    Apr 17, 2017 12:32 PM
    Southwest! Bags fly free!
    ________________________

    Mike Brown is looking into that as we speak. Since a good portion of his team is made up of bags the Bengals could save a fortune.

  12. “Maybe it’s time for these teams to buy their own plane.”

    “The league, worth billions of dollars, should either purchase or found a charter airline service.”

    Its far more complicated than that. Once you own them you have to pay for and provide the pilots, other flight crew, maintenance and other staff. You have to have hangers to store the planes in when they’re not in use. You have to maintain a supply of spare parts. You have to meet all kinds of government regs and given the issues the league has had with their own rule book I doubt they can handle understanding far more complex government rules about operating an airline.

  13. joetoronto says:
    Apr 17, 2017 12:30 PM
    Maybe it’s time for these teams to buy their own plane.

    Nah, teams only take 10 flights a year. You’re better off overpaying for ten charter flights than taking on the costs (both fixed and variable) of a plane that big.

  14. harrisonhits2 says:
    Apr 17, 2017 12:49 PM
    “Maybe it’s time for these teams to buy their own plane.”

    “The league, worth billions of dollars, should either purchase or found a charter airline service.”

    Its far more complicated than that. Once you own them you have to pay for and provide the pilots, other flight crew, maintenance and other staff. You have to have hangers to store the planes in when they’re not in use. You have to maintain a supply of spare parts. You have to meet all kinds of government regs and given the issues the league has had with their own rule book I doubt they can handle understanding far more complex government rules about operating an airline.

  15. Not 100% sure, but I think every road game requires two planes per team. One for team personnel, press and their personal baggage, the other for equipment which is substantial.

  16. I’m quite surprised that these owners don’t have private jets for the team. I mean come on. Your billionaires. With a “B”

  17. Ohhhh, I would love to see a video of United security trying to get players like Suh, Suggs or James Harrison off the plane because of “overbooking” the flight.

  18. I doubt they can handle understanding far more complex government rules about operating an airline.
    ———–
    They hire some former airline execs to work out the numbers and run it. If maintaining 17 planes (road teams + London) pencils out especially if they charter out the planes when they aren’t being used, they could even make money…they’d be all over that.

    Be careful what you wish for American.

  19. What’s amazing is that they don’t have airlines throwing money at the league/teams to brand themselves as the official airlines of the NFL.

    Next up, teams making players use AirBnB for road games.

  20. Each city should buy their team a plane of their own. And, have the runway, taxiway terminate right at the door to the stadium, the city, bought and paid for.

    It’s a deal for the city! The plane won’t cost near as much as the stadium. Such a deal! Can you say, “stick ’em up”?

  21. If the rock band Iron Maiden can have their own 747 the “Ed Force One” and fly it all over the world, I can imagine a NFL team could own and operate their own airplane.

  22. omegalh says:
    Apr 17, 2017 12:25 PM
    I’d love to see United drag an NFLer off the plane.

    _____________________________________

    Except United didn’t drag anyone off the plane. Airport Security did. United staff never touched the passenger.

    Agree or disagree with the “involuntary removal policy” (that every airline has mind you), but once airport security was involved United was no longer involved with what happened with that passenger from that point forward.

  23. Charlotte, Dallas and Philly are Amercian hubs. The demand for air travel is going through the roof. Pulling planes for a once a week charter could be an issue. they want to run consistent daily routes.

  24. Wow the Dolphins are going to hate taking Spirit Airlines to London. $50 for the first checked bag and no wifi.

    ——————————

    I think that this team does (or did) own their own plane… a 737 if memory serves.

  25. I would absolutely love to see United “reaccomodate” Bill Belichik off a charter

    ***

    He’ll misinterpret the rules again.

  26. Gonna be problematic when they find out their cocaine isn’t allowed in their carry on luggage

  27. kuechlyisabeast says:
    Apr 17, 2017 1:23 PM

    omegalh says:
    Apr 17, 2017 12:25 PM
    I’d love to see United drag an NFLer off the plane.

    _____________________________________

    Except United didn’t drag anyone off the plane. Airport Security did. United staff never touched the passenger.

    Agree or disagree with the “involuntary removal policy” (that every airline has mind you), but once airport security was involved United was no longer involved with what happened with that passenger from that point forward.

    ——————–

    Except United ordered the code red.

  28. tylawspick6 says:
    Apr 17, 2017 12:59 PM
    Goodell must go.

    Arrest, try and convict.

    //////////////

    Hey tylaw, there are probably more people that think Goodell is doing a good job than bad. Your intense anger is on every story. We get it, you don’t like him. Get over it.

  29. Makes no sense. Let’s cancel paying contracts where there are up to 10 completely booked flights for 20 different teams so they can turn around to try and sell them out again? Who is running this airline?

  30. 1/2 the people on this site make constant remarks as to what a buffoon our POTUS is yet he’s had his own plane for years and been able to handle all that entails. Trump can do it but Kraft can’t? Is that an argument you’re really willing to make?

    Honestly – owners could own their own planes and easily do so – even creating fractional ownership to recoup expenses for when they aren’t using them.

  31. nutpunchnancy says:
    Apr 17, 2017 1:01 PM
    Not 100% sure, but I think every road game requires two planes per team. One for team personnel, press and their personal baggage, the other for equipment which is substantial.
    ——
    Usually the equipment is sent via truck. With tandem drivers, you can reach any NFL city from any other one in two days.

    For the London games, each team sends an ocean container a month or so in advance.

  32. I was in the airport in Chicago the other day and was surprised to see the members of the Columbus Crew soccer team – in full black and gold sweatsuits – schlepping through the terminal like your average insurance salemen. If it was me I’d rather get a Winnebago and John Madden it.

  33. I can see the day coming where NFL teams will be buying or leasing their own planes. Most NBA teams do it.
    Granted they use smaller aircraft but think of money teams could save. Purchase price for a used Boeing 737 is around $10 mil, brand new is $50 mil.
    They could use it as a charter during the week and the offseason to gain revenue. You wouldn’t run into issues hiring a part time flight crew. It would be considered a gravy job for them.

  34. Mike Brown is currently pricing a 1947 crop duster bi plane for the Bengals….

    This comment just won the internet.

  35. kuechlyisabeast says:
    Apr 17, 2017 1:23 PM
    omegalh says:
    Apr 17, 2017 12:25 PM
    I’d love to see United drag an NFLer off the plane.

    _____________________________________

    Except United didn’t drag anyone off the plane. Airport Security did. United staff never touched the passenger.

    Agree or disagree with the “involuntary removal policy” (that every airline has mind you), but once airport security was involved United was no longer involved with what happened with that passenger from that point forward.

    Well except for the fact that United called them to remove the passenger and thus were acting as agents for United.

  36. NFL might need to get into the airline business. 64 planes and an agreement for servicing.

  37. Hey…..anybody have 32 727’s sitting around?

    +++++++

    Fly 727’s out of Seattle? Bring DB Cooper back!

  38. nutpunchnancy says:
    Apr 17, 2017 12:42 PM
    As a former VP of Greyhound Lines, “Ride the Dog!”
    ______________________________________

    For locations 250 miles apart or less they should!

  39. Maybe more teams could use luxury bus accommodations or travel by train. Obviously this wouldn’t work for long trips but there are plenty of teams that could easily bus or train to a not to distant city.

  40. chris6523 says:
    Apr 17, 2017 2:06 PM
    Pilots. There is a fast approaching shortage of pilots.
    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::;
    That’s true but that’s because pilots don’t want to be on duty for as long as the airlines are asking. For a semi retired pilot or an older pilot, this would be a dream job. Think about it. Most flights would be less than 3 hours, I said MOST. Yes there will be some long hauls but the longest flight would be Miami to Seattle or N.E. to L.A. You’re looking at 6 hours.

    I know. My nephew flew for Northwest and left shortly after the Delta takeover. All he does is charters out of Denver. Loves it !

  41. I could less about goodell or the owners.

    But I do watch the games because of the players and coaches.

    Hope they work it out and have safe travel arrangements in the future.

  42. I’ve seen the Steelers plane on the ground at Philadelphia International….. I guess that’s just for the Rooney’s, players don’t fly on that? Anyhow somebody will be glad to sign a contract with any NFL franchise, and fly the team around….. advertise for bids, there’ll be plenty of takers!

  43. Now they are going to board the plane and say they oversold their tickets, and demand that Midget Wilson give up his seat or he may suffer broken teeth and a broken nose if he refuses.

  44. Used Boeing 767 suppliers take note as vigorous hand rubbing intensifies. Shekelmasters on tier 1 alert. Owners prepare for 5 hole exploitation of season ticket holders. NFL makes new commercials about “the friendly sky’s” Sheldon Richardson dragged off flight after being bumped… Shlomo is happy. Very happy.

  45. I’m sure it’s been said but the fans will end up paying for this… good ole American greed… Well NFL how do YOU like it when the tables are turned on YOU?

  46. A couple of years ago, the Jets took a charter flight to their away game with the Giants…Hey, it was on the schedule!

  47. I wonder whether it would be more practical for teams to own their own planes. How many seasons before the plane pays for itself in charter savings? Owner could even charter it out at other times to bring in more money.

  48. A nice scenic train ride would be nice, even buses, beats dealing with TSA for most trips except the longest distances , IMO.

  49. I guarantee that the owners will find a way for the taxpayers to pickup the tab for this. It seemed crazy at first with stadiums but not anymore. Billionaires don’t become billionaires by spending their own money.

  50. Billionaires don’t become billionaires by making poor financial decisions like buying an airplane that they’ll use 8 times a year. Some NBA teams have private jets because they’re transporting 15 players instead of 53 and they play 41 road games each regular season.

  51. I remember flying out of somewhere (Dallas, Cincinnati, or Hartford) and seeing a plane with the Panthers logo on the tail and not marked in any other way. This was about 8 years ago, I just assumed they had their own charter fleets or a deal similar to Netjets.

Leave a Reply