Author Kyle Peterson
Flying NFL teams around the country all season is a logistic feat that requires planning, diligence and teamwork. At United, these qualities happen to be our specialty.
United provides charter service for 12 teams, and each one can have as many as 10 round-trip flights in a season. All the teams travel on either a Boeing 757-300, which has 213 seats, or a Boeing 767-400, which has 242 seats.
The size of each traveling party varies from team to team, but they typically range from 130 to 165 people during the regular season and between 145 and 190 people in the preseason.
NFL charter flights usually use remote locations away from airport terminals for departures and arrivals. While the players usually restrict their personal luggage to one carry-on apiece, teams often travel with their equipment, which can exceed 175 pieces and weigh more than 20,000 pounds.
United works with each team to develop customized menus, which are based on the length of the flight and each team’s food preferences and nutritional requirements.
United flies the Lions (Detroit) and Texans (Houston) and Bears (Chicago)—oh my!—along with the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins.