Commercial Vs. Charter: You Decide For UConn

by Categorized: Bob Joyce, Purdue women's basketball, UConn women's basketball Date:

Time to play a game: You Are The Athletic Director

Here’s how we play….

You are in charge of getting your women’s basketball team home from a tropical island on Thanksgiving weekend, one of the busiest times of the year.

Your group is large; players, coaches, support staff, selected media members, families, friends and donors.

Do you take your chances on commerical air travel in an airport with few options in case trouble brews

Or do you spend $40,000 of BCS money on a charter, dependent only to you, your school and your needs?

Sunday afternoon at 1:30, the UConn women’s charter landed in Connecticut, early enough for AD Warde Manuel and some players to attend the men’s game at Gampel at 4.

Sunday night at 8, after hours of waiting in the tiny St. Thomas aiport listening to USAir runarounds about what was going on with their flight to Philadelphia, the Purdue team, and their party, pulled back into the Marriott parking lot, their flight canceled.

Both UConn and Purdue play at home on Wednesday. UConn got yesterday off. Purdue sat in a hot airport, slept in a hotel, then  met in the lobby at 8 to try again. Not only that, there weren’t enough seats available to fly the team together back to West Lafayette, Ind. So they were contemplating getting a charter in Philly, at the cost of $40,000.

By the way, also stuck in town for another night was UConn radio voice Bob “The Voice” Joyce and his wife, Michelle. They were on Purdue’s flight, or should I say Purdue was on THEIR flight.

Bob and Michelle couldn’t get a connecting seat back to Hartford today, so they have to DRIVE back from Philly in rush hour.

So, you vote……Charter or commerical. You can borrow the money from ESPN, if you need it. They have a lot of it

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37 thoughts on “Commercial Vs. Charter: You Decide For UConn

  1. TexasBogger

    Interesting article, John. Sounds like the charter decision was a no brainer. Assuming the womens’ BB program operates well into the “black”, it didn’t cost the university a penny in out-of-pocket expense.

    1. Big Jim

      Yeah, wouldn’t we all just hate getting “stuck” on St. Thomas.

      To the question: For long trips and where there are no direct flights, charter is the way to go. The 40,000 would need to be measured against the corresponding cost for commercial travel, additional meals, etc.

      However: the selected media members and doners should pay their fair share. Assuming that said “media” is not from the school newspaper.

      Exception for you though John, as you are part of the family and add subtley to the Geno auro.

  2. Charter for UConn Women

    Charter flights for UConn women is the only way to fly. It is desirable to take Fans with them. But please not only the million dollar donors–they have their own jets. Fans or non University personnel MUST with no exceptions pay full fare. The perk for the fans is flying with the team–it’s worth any extras a fan has to pay.
    Media should go with the team too, but limited access on the plane. These kids and coaches need personal/self time.

  3. Phil

    I saw the Purdue team sitting in the airport, and chatted to Versyp and Moses. We were advised to head to the airport three hours before take-off, in retrospect, that time wasn’t needed, but it meant we sat in the airport for almost three hours. That’s another advantage of a charter. When everyone is through the line, you can leave, and you don’t have to head to the airport hours ahead of “schedule”.

    The UConn team flew commercial in 2005; I remember because I saw them in the airport and it was a mess that day, which I bet was a part of the decision.

    The Purdue team was in the airport by 2 pm or so. That means they spent six hours in the airport.
    Big Jim, I can safely bet you haven’t been in that situation. I was once “stuck” in Bermuda, and co-workers made the same ill-informed comment. The Bermuda airport, at the time, had no amenities. There was nothing to do but sit for hours. Then after cancelling, had to scramble to find a room, and arrange for another flight the next morning. Not enough time to do anything on the island. While the St. Thomas airport is slightly better, to put it in perspective, if I had a choice between six hours in St. Thomas airport or six hours in Bradley, I’d pick Bradley by a wide margin. They had wi-fi, but it wasn’t free. So the team sat in the airport until 8, and either ate airport food (not a compliment) or had to arrange a meal at 9 PM. They probably had classes the next day, and certainly didn’t go to the beach or jet-skiing, they probably sat in their rooms and tried to catch up on studying, and worried about how to make up their missed class. Having been there, I guarantee that none of them were saying “look on the bright side, we get to spend another day in St. Thomas”, unless they were just trying to make light of it.

    1. Rhurbard

      Ugh, Agh, Phil – you world traveller you:

      I wasn’t intending hanging out at the airport. From lots of places, there is one chance to get out per day and when you know you are not getting out that day; why then, you can spend a bunch of hours on extended vacation.

      1. Rhurbard

        ‘Cos Rhurbard leaves a bitter taste.

        Phil – help me with the spelling here.


  4. HarryH

    Depending upon how large the UCONN “family” is – probably not that much more expensive than all those commercial tickets which is the real comparison. If you add in the additional cost of meals and maybe a place to stay etc. it probably becomes a no-brainer. I thought UCONN teams always went charter. If I remember correctly, one of the comments that former players make is when they go to the WNBA they need to get used to flying commercial since they went charter at UCONN. Nothing is too good for our women.

  5. Phil

    If you know there is a single flight a day and you know early that it is cancelled, you can make plans for a day and get some enjoyment out of it. However, Purdue didn’t know. Sometime around 3pm they announced it was delayed, and presumably, they kept hoping they could get a flight until it was finally cancelled at 8. Pretty much wastes the day. As an aside, it was a mecca for watching teams. Got to chat with the DePaul team and the South Carolina team while we were there.

  6. jcbjr

    How about negotiating the cost of the charter or at least the added cost over commercial as part of the contract of the schools with the sponsors?

  7. CT Born and Bread

    Why is this a story? Secondly, how do the men fly, I am so sick of hearing about the women’s team, if it wasn’t for the foundation that was set by the men’s program we wouldn’t be talking about this.

      1. Louis Adelard

        Ignorance —not knowing what you don’t know. So if you are ignorant, one is truly blissful.

        Also nay sayer— means saying no. Not that you’ve made a comment I don’t agree with–if the latter is the case, it just means you are disagreeable.

        Not commenting about anything you wrote HarryH.

  8. vg

    “I am so sick of hearing about the women’s team”

    Then why are you reading an article about it?

  9. CT Born and Bread

    You know….. I ask myself that same question, and still can’t come up with an answer



  11. CT Born and Bread

    Glad I could expand the discussion…. Now on to bigger and better things UCONN Men’s basketball.

    Again, there would be no discussion about women’s b-ball if the men’s program didn’t build the foundation.

    1. HarryH

      Lets see – who won the first national championship – the men or women? Which team has the best record over time – which team has the Olympic coach?
      I know we are making you happy by answering you but I enjoy making sure you know you are ignorant and obnoxious

  12. CT Born and Bread

    You mean to tell me your defense is to compare the women’s program to the men? Enough said….. You really must be kidding.

    That is my point exactly, it is great to have a winning program that people can cheer for, but stop with the comparison. It is a different ball game.

  13. CT Born and Bread

    As far as me being ignorant, I have forgotten more about basketball than you will ever know

    1. Big Jim

      Sure you have.

      Although, to be fair – you may have forgotten just how much you have forgotten.

      In the meantime – get yuor coat.

    2. Louis Adelard

      It is easy to compare programs–win/losses, championship, dollars made for the university, olympic coach, all are valid points.
      What you can’t do is for a womens’ team to compete against a mens team.

      obnoxious — you aren’t , opinionated, yes. But truly reading and commenting on the wrong site.

  14. big blue

    Wow,it costs that much to fly the M & W bball teams around the country and to the Islands?…I’ll just have to increase my annual contribution to help these student/athletes…

  15. CT Born and Bread

    Hey Big Blue the word is spelled ”

    I am done, I wish the women a successful season

  16. Denise in AZ

    Back in the 90’s, I had a bumper sticker that read: Connecticut: Where men are men and women are champions.

    Now it could read…. where men are college drop outs and women are champs and college graduates!

    Having just insulted the Calhoun era, I’d like say that I like the new style of basketball being played by Kevin Ollie’s team. I watch them on SNY and cheer for them.

    1. Louis Adelard

      I too am an Ollie Team booster. I love to watch a coach that doesn’t: Hook them out in 10 seconds, scream at them coming off the floor, swearing so fans can hear.
      Ollie gives UConn a very refreshing new manner/style of coaching and playing–so far it’s working. Keep on keeping on Kevin Ollie.

      Hey, where can I get one of those new stickers–Uconn women do graduate and the do have 7 championships. But truth in advertising; There are more competitive Men’s teams then women teams.

  17. CT Born and Bread

    I agree, K.O. Is doing a great job….. I think it is a positive change.

    I think we can all agree that there are many more competitive men’s programs as compared to women, which is my point.

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