Did you think that NFL players traveled in plush first-class style charter seats?
I've got news for you. The average NFL player flies to and from the game in a regular economy seat. Teams usually travel on chartered commercial jets operated by passenger airlines, and though they do have first class seats, there are only so many of them.
CBS News got an inside look at the travel patterns of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which flies United Airlines. You may be interested to know that Tampa Bay saves first class for its linemen, the unsung players on the team. "It all starts up front, on both sides of the ball, everything we do says that, but you want to acknowledge it with this also," coach Lovie Smith told CBS. "Sitting up in first class lets them know that they're, you know, first class guys." That, of course, means that some of the team's more famous players sit in coach.
But there are many perks to flying on a charter. The process is efficient, with the team packing up and leaving immediately after the players have taken their post-game showers. The players don't have to carry their own gear. The buses even get a police escort to the airport. And the food on board is also a lot better. CBS says the average menu includes po' boys and Chick-fil-A burgers, as well as healthier options like steak, chicken, shrimp and spinach salad. Dessert includes frozen fruit bars and Skinny Cow ice cream.
On this day, the Bucaneers were flying on N75854, a 757 outfitted with 16 flat beds seats in first class. For those curious, it was delivered to Continental Airlines in 2002.
I recommend watching the story to get the full picture. For those of you who want to go straight to the air travel portion of the piece, that begins at the 2 minutes 45 seconds mark.