Sports teams don’t fly from city to city on the same aircraft as us mere mortals. Well, they might be on the same planes, but the seating configuration isn’t what we’re used to. That’s understandable because most professional athletes don’t have the same body type as the typical human. They’re typically taller than the average passenger and a plane with standard seat pitch in economy class just won’t do.
Major professional sports teams often fly on charter planes from city to city and said planes have a unique seating arrangement to accommodate its passengers.
Sharon and I were treated to a flight on an NHL charter plane when we visited Cuba in 2016. Our otherwise regular trip from MIA-HAV was on an Eastern Airlines charter. We weren’t flying on a regular Eastern aircraft, but the team plane for the Florida Panthers NHL hockey team.
Look at all that legroom. We were able to recline all the way back in the seats and not worry about bothering the passengers sitting behind us. It was one of the only flights when I felt no guilt about reclining my seat.
Even our 6ft+ travel buddies were able to fully stretch out their legs and not even get close to reaching the seats in the row in front of them.
I can’t give any advice about how to replicate this experience. You definitely can not fly on Eastern Airlines to Cuba anymore. And if the Florida Panthers make the Stanley Cup Finals again, as they did in 2023, their charter plane is going to be in use for much more than it was in 2016.
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