San Antonio Spurs Spend Night On Plane

It can’t be easy flying commercial aircraft when you’re tall enough to slam-dunk, but then professional basketball players fly in pampered roomy, comfort. Right?

Well, yeah. If the plane gets off the ground.

The San Antonio Spurs spent Monday night aboard their chartered 727 at the airport in New Orleans after winning a semifinal game over the New Orleans Hornets, according to The plane was grounded by mechanical difficulties, there were no hotel rooms available in the city and the team had to wait for a replacement plane to arrive.

The team finally left New Orleans at 6:30 this morning for Los Angeles, where the jet-lagged  players will face the Lakers on Wednesday night. At least they’ll get another night’s sleep first.

Mind you there are worse planes to spend a night on — I’m thinking United 777, back in Economy Minus, or maybe a little CRJ. But the charter jets for NBA teams are not standard commercial passenger planes.They’re nicely fitted out luxury charter jets, with leather pilots chairs and big movie screens. Still, they don’t have beds.

The charter airline, Champion Air, is scheduled to go out of business at the end of the month, undone by fuel costs for its aging fleet. The San Antonio Express-News suggested in a story last month that this might raise questions about maintenance and safety.



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