As Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals drew to a close, the Private Jet Services (PJS) staff were waiting at a darkened tarmac ready to transport the Stanley Cup to St. Louis for the first time in history. After the locker room celebrations and media conferences came to a close, a security official consults the manifest and checks off the players, coaches, equipment managers, trainers, general manager, and other club personnel as the celebration continues on board. A box truck packed with the team’s equipment pulled next to the aircraft and gear was quickly loaded into the under-belly.
Onboard, a special catered meal and selection of drinks and cocktails had been prepared for the celebration, and the VIP aircraft was decorated in the team’s colors. From the moment the bus arrived it took less that 15-minutes to load the aircraft and start the champion’s journey home.
“Flying both the teams in the Stanley Cup is an honor and a true testament to the hardworking and dedicated staff at PJS,” said Greg Raiff, PJS Founder and CEO, “Both teams fought really hard throughout the series, even as a Boston based company we were really excited to see the Blues win their first cup.”
Results are the bottom line in the world of pro team sports. Every aspect of the team’s off the field preparation influences what happens on the field, and that includes sports team travel. In aviation there are no rebounds or break away goals, everything is a set play planned for perfection. For a mission to run smoothly preparation starts weeks, months and sometimes years ahead of a trip, all details large and small must be double checked and set into motion at the correct time.
Days prior to the flight the 24/7 PJS Flight Operations Center (FOC) uses the most advanced tools to track and monitor all flights including up-to-the minute weather patterns and projections, NOTAMS, TFRs and airport congestion. The experienced FOC Team is always looking ahead, remaining in constant communication with downline facilities ensure seamless coordination of all details, big and small. In the case of a mechanical delay PJS track secondary aircraft as backup options ensuring any problems are identified and solved before passengers are delayed.
On the ground the dedicated PJS Flight Concierge worked to set-up, ground transportation, catering, and all of the customized details that make a championship flight a special experience. Having spent the season with the team, the Concierge has built a relationship with the players, coaches, and staff. From enhancing the efficiency and convenience of a season-long travel program, to knowing the personalized catering and dietary preferences of every member on board the PJS Flight Concierge is another tiny cog in a season’s success.
No team becomes a champion overnight. From a last place divisional ranking, the St. Louis Blue’s defied the odds shocking fans with their impressive playoff run. It has been an honor to witness and be a part of their journey, one flight at a time.