As you probably know, the Cleveland Browns are travelling to London this week to face the Minnesota Vikings at Twickenham Stadium. London is a lot further away than most of the cities that the Browns travel to, so it was time to book a better plane to shuttle the Browns than the usual United Airlines stuff.
Virgin Atlantic is a sponsor of the NFL International series, so naturally they’ve dispatched a plane to pick up our Browns. By the time you are reading this, the flight may have already arrived, but if not you can track it here.
The special thing about this particular flight, is that it is reportedly a Boeing 787-9. It will be only the second time ever that a 787 has visited Cleveland.1 If you aren’t an aviation nerd like me there are a few special things about the 787 that should make the flight a bit more pleasant for the Browns.
First of all, the 787 is made mostly of carbon fiber composite material instead of the traditional aluminum, which makes the airplane lighter and have a longer range. This also allows the cabin to be pressurized to the equivalent altitude of 6000 feet, whereas an older generation aircraft would generally be around 8000 feet. This can make a HUGE difference in how you feel after you get off of the flight. Another bonus of having the lower altitude, is that more moisture can be in the air, leaving passengers free of the famous dry-eyes/nose/throat that usually accompany a long flight.
The thing that might make things difficult for Hue Jackson is deciding where his players will sit on this beauty. It has three different classes of seats. I assume Hue will probably fly in the Upper Class cabin which has lie-flat seats and are isolated from other seats.
I expect special teams coordinator Chris Tabor to be seated in Premium Economy. Seats aren’t as fancy as the upper class cabin, but still pretty nice. They don’t go all the way flat but offer much more leg-room than economy.2
And although it isn’t terrible, I’m sure Hue will have DeShone Kizer sitting in economy on the flight to London, with the offer of Upper Class for the ride home if he makes it through the game without throwing an interception. This being an internationally configured airplane, there is more leg-room than a typical domestic flight configured airplane, but this is certainly not as lush as things further up.
Hopefully, once the plane arrives and turns around for the trip to London, the Browns social media team will give us some behind the scenes viewing of the plane and players boarding. And he’re hoping that the flight home is pleasant- because of a win and not just the increased humidity.