Although most professional sports teams travel via commercial planes, that could all be changing. The New England Patriots are leading the way with their private jet, which they acquired in 2017.
The aircraft is noticeable wherever the team flies in the country, thanks to the striking team colors and symbols on the plane’s exterior. Of course, that’s sort of the point of a private aircraft, isn’t it?
In many ways, the Pats’ private jet is different from regular private jets. Just wait ’til you see all the amenities. It’s definitely fit for a superstar sports team!
It seems to be a success for the team so far—who knows whether more teams will follow suit in the future? Keep reading to find out 20 interesting facts about the Patriots’ private jet.
20 It Used To Be A Commercial Aircraft
Interestingly, the Patriots’ private jet wasn’t always a private aircraft, according to Business Insider. In actual fact, it was originally used as a commercial aircraft. It was retired from commercial service in early 2016 before being bought by the Patriots. It’s quite a bit larger than your average private jet!
19 But Inside, It No Longer Resembles A Standard Commercial Aircraft
via The Boston Globe
Even though the private jet was technically designed as a commercial aircraft, it no longer resembles one from the inside. When it was being used by American Airlines, it held around 220 passengers. Now, it holds far less, and the seats are more spacious.
18 Their Trophies Are Painted On The Jet’s Tail
via Boston Globe
Just because the Patriots’ jet looks like a commercial airline from the outside in terms of size, doesn’t mean that it can’t have any special bells and whistles. The aircraft is painted with the team colors on the outside so it’s easily identifiable and also features the number of trophies they’ve won on the tail.
17 They Had To Re-Paint After The Last Super Bowl
via CBS News
Up until recently, the Pats had won five Super Bowls, meaning they had only five trophies painted on the tail of their aircraft. But they had to re-paint their tail after the last Super Bowl when they won the game and added another trophy to their collection.
16 They Have Their Own Name For It
We suppose it’s normal to name your private plane if you’re lucky enough to have one! The Pats have named theirs the AirKraft. This name was chosen as a tribute to the owner of the team, Bob Kraft. It’s a very fitting name indeed!
15 It’s Not Their Only Jet
via CBS Sports
You know you’ve made it when you don’t have just one private aircraft. The Pats have not one, but two, private planes. One serves as the team’s primary jet that transports them around the country. The other acts as a reserve. We guess you can’t be too careful!
14 It Cost More Than $5 Million
via Girl at the Game
Have you ever wondered how much it costs to have your own jet? According to Business Insider, the Pats’ jet is worth around $5.5 million. That’s quite a number! Plus, it cost the team even more to renovate the inside of the plane.
13 It’s Set Up For Functionality, Not Luxury
via New England Patriots
Although the plane is reasonably comfortable inside, that’s not the primary goal. It is set up for functionality rather than luxury, per Business Insider. This means that there are enough seats to fit the entire team on, plus crew members and other professionals. It also has a range of 6,500 miles.
12 The Plane Is Equipped With Normal Crew Members
via Pats Pulpit
The jet is still similar to a commercial aircraft in that it is equipped with a regular team of crew members. These staff members tend to the team during the flight, guide them in case of any emergencies, and generally make sure things go smoothly during the travel stage.
11 It’s More Comfortable Than First Class
via Mass Live
While the jet isn’t about luxury, it’s certainly more comfortable than the average commercial flight. In fact, it’s even more comfortable than first class on any given domestic flight. The seats are the same as those you’d find in first class but have an extra five inches of legroom.
10 Everybody Gets An Individual Entertainment System
via Boston Globe
Traveling on the Pats’ jet is not uncomfortable, and it’s also not boring. Each passenger has their own individual entertainment system onboard, which means they can keep from getting too bored as they fly around the country. It’s just as well because some of their flights take a few hours.
9 It’s Actually Cheaper For Them To Own Their Own Plane
via Sports Illustrated
Operating a private jet is by no means cheap, but it’s actually more cost-effective for the Pats to own their own plane rather than to try and fly commercial every time they need to travel for a game, per Business Insider. Air travel is becoming more expensive, so this method actually works out to be cheaper.