Fast Break: Mira Vista’s Take on March Madness Travel

Image by Aaron Doster - USA TODAY Sports

For college basketball teams and fans alike, the month of March is the pinnacle of their year. More than 80 teams come together to partake in March Madness; seven tournaments split across North America. Then the tournament’s pinnacle event takes center stage, the Final Four, this year pulling in a record high of viewers between social media and television. Teams battle in two final games after facing the most arduous schedule of any college athlete playing upward of three games a week in various locations. 

With this rigorous travel schedule in mind, the National Collegiate Athlete Association (NCCA) has conducted a series of studies concerning the effects of air travel on athletes. The results showed that on average every time zone crossed in the air decreases a team’s chance of winning by twenty percent. Thinner oxygen decreases the amount of blood traveling to recovering areas of the body while limited mobility tightens players muscles. Athletes also are more likely to suffer from dehydration and muscle exhaustion.  

Specialists at Mira Vista Aviation, a private jet charter, and management company delved deeper into this problem to find out how teams are modernizing travel plans to combat these issues. They found less than three percent of teams owned a private jet. Roughly seven percent of teams traveled on commercial flights. The remainder? Charter jets. 

Colleges have noted that chartering jets allows athletes to reap the benefits of flying private without the price tag and maintenance of owning an aircraft. With an average height of 6 foot 7 inches, charter jets offer basketball players the ability to move around the cabin keeping their muscles loose. Couches and plush chairs replace the typical airline seats giving players extra leg room allowing them to sit in a neutral position increasing spine and back health. 

During March Madness a handful of schools even bring physical therapists and chiropractors on board to keep the players in optimal physical shape during the flight. 

With added space in the cabin, chiropractors are able to set up tables for students to lie on for adjustments. The floor space allows physical therapists to lead guided stretches as well as therapeutic modalities, a treatment used to help improve circulation, muscle contractions, and inflammation.

Chartering an aircraft also benefits athlete’s scholastic performance. Unlike flying commercial, chartering allows the team to create flexible schedules. This provides students maximum class time before boarding the team bus and driving straight to the airport. From there the athletes are able to quickly board the aircraft without having to add time for lengthy lines at security checkpoints or delays. Once everyone is settled, the aircraft is airborne in just a handful of minutes. 

Many schools have gone as far as traveling with private tutors for the athletes to help make up for the inevitable lost class time. Charter aircraft provide these tutors with ideal teaching spaces consisting of tables for the students to work on and couches to break off to for group work. The freedom to move about the cabin aids in these lessons as the tutor is freely able to go from one group to the next. 

The advantages are endless when it comes to chartering an aircraft. Whether you’re rushing off to play in the Final Four or cheering on your team from the stands, Mira Vista Aviation has an aircraft for you. When planning future trips let us ease your stress and send you soaring on an experience more satisfying than a nothing-but-net shot.