Champion Air Gets a (Purple and) Gold Star In Its Dying Days

It can’t be easy being Champion Air these days. The clock is ticking . . . only 10 days until the airline shuts down for good. 08_05_21 purpleandgoldstarBut apparently, this fine airline found the will to do a great thing yesterday. And for that, they get a (purple and) gold star.

So what did they do? Well, they made the San Antonio Spurs sleep on one of their planes on the ground in New Orleans while they fixed it. Why is this great? I grew up in LA during the time of Kareem, Magic, Worthy, Byron Scott, AC Green, Michael Cooper . . . you get the drift. Even though I don’t follow the game as much as I did back then, growing up here during that era makes me a Laker fan for life. And the Spurs were on their way to LA for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against Lakers.

This is actually a pretty bizarre story. The Spurs decided to fly out right after Game 7 against the Hornets. When they won, that meant they’d be heading to LA. The team went to the airport and found out that the plane was on a mechanical. Apparently, it wouldn’t be ready to go until 7a yesterday morning. Hotels were overbooked due to some huge convention, so the team had to sleep on the plane.

So, yesterday morning they made it to town, probably pretty tired from the long and uncomfortable night. I’m confident the Lakers can pull this one on their own, but there’s nothing wrong with a little extra advantage.

08_05_21 lakerchampion

Now, should everyone be concerned about a mechanical on a plane that’s destined for the scrap heap in a couple of weeks? Nah, I’m going to assume that they’re doing what they have to do to keep those planes airworthy for now. And I don’t say that lightly. Champion also transports the Lakers.

Next year, Northwest will take over the contract with the NBA, but for now, let’s just say thanks to Champion Air for helping out my home team.


3 Responses to Champion Air Gets a (Purple and) Gold Star In Its Dying Days

  1. Feldspar says:

    IIRC, Champion was once owned by NWA. Also, I don’t think the entire NBA is signed up with one carrier. I believe every team makes their own charter arrangements.

    I know the Heat has their own airplane. (Operated by Miami Air.) So did the Dallas Mavericks. (Operated by Pace, last I checked.)

    http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?regsearch=N753MA&view=true

    http://www.luftfahrt.ch/images/zrh2006junen801dm.jpg

  2. CF says:

    No, the entire NBA is not under this contract, but the deal was between Champion (and now Northwest) and the NBA to fly for 13 teams. Read about it here.

    Northwest did own a piece of Champion for a few years around the turn of the millennium, but it hasn’t been involved for a few years. Of course, Northwest is the one putting Champion out of business by pulling its MLT Vacations business from the airline and taking over the NBA contract.

  3. Yo says:

    I remember flying HP with the Golden State Warriors all on the same plane with regular PAX.

    Those were the days.

    The Spurs deserve a Tower Air treatment of 24 hours in the terminal. As much as I loathe the Lakers, Spurs will always be 2X that.

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