Jealous: A Sports Team Chartered The Crystal 777 To Take Them To China

Filed Under: Other Airlines

It’s pretty normal for sports teams to charter planes to fly them around during their seasons. This isn’t necessarily a luxury thing, but rather a cost and schedule thing, given how many people they’re transporting. Chartering a jet isn’t that prohibitively expensive when you’re transporting dozens and dozens of people.

In the US this has actually become a problem, because with how well airlines are doing, they’ve been canceling their charter agreements with sports teams, leaving them without a way to get to their games. While chartering planes can be a lucrative business, the issue is that airlines have to take planes out of service in order to charter them, and the potential revenue loss there can be big. So the New England Patriots have gone so far as buy their own 767s to take them to games.

I’m not usually jealous of the planes that these sports teams charter, since they’re rarely all that luxurious. However, I’ll have to make an exception today. The Vancouver Canucks chartered the Crystal 777 to take them from Vancouver to China earlier this week.


I wrote about this plane about a year ago, which is the latest and greatest plane in the mega-private jet world. Crystal plans to use this plane to offer private jet tours around the world. The 777 seats just 88 passengers, though has a heck of a layout.

The part of the cabin with standard seats doesn’t look that exceptional. Actually, it looks subpar for business class nowadays, as there’s not direct aisle access from every seat. Then again, given that it will mostly be couples traveling together, I guess that sort of makes sense.


What makes this special is that the plane has a dining room and bar, which I’ve never seen quite like this before.



The Daily Hive has all kinds of pictures of the Vancouver Canucks enjoying their flight on this special plane.


(Tip of the hat to Phillyjevs)

  1. Your comment about the seating,

    “The part of the cabin with standard seats doesn’t look that exceptional. Actually, it looks subpar for business class nowadays, as there’s not direct aisle access from every seat”

    I would think this aircraft is set up for couples traveling together. Single seats by the windows for direct aisle access would not work for that. I doubt that many business travelers are using this aircraft.

  2. dk, maybe you could have finished reading the paragraph. He goes on to say:

    “Then again, given that it will mostly be couples traveling together, I guess that sort of makes sense.”

  3. That Anders guy should have his account suspended until he is able to post pictures that isnt just a blur. I’ve seen monkies (literally) take better pictures than that.

    Btw, the plane looks awesome.

  4. I read that Crystal has decided to suspend their tour business with this plane and is hoping to just charter it out to groups like this in the future.

  5. @ usr22 — Interesting, it’s actually not as expensive as I was expecting. However, I’m a bit surprised they don’t share what hotels you’ll stay at. Simply describing it as a “luxury hotel” seems odd at this price point.

  6. @USR22, I think you’ve got Ben thinking about doing this! That could be a great honeymoon, although the other travelers might be rich retired folks in their 70’s. I don’t suppose there’s any way to book these tours with points?

  7. @Charlie McMillan – An odd tip I remember reading once is that when booking a cruise, always look at the company’s marketing materials for clues as to the age (and income level) of the customers they expect on a particular cruise. The models I found on the Crystal page for this 777 “aircruise” service are not in their 70s; they’re quite young (20s-30s). Also, it’s interesting that the trips depart from Hong Kong, and information is available in two Asian languages (I’m guessing Mandarin and Cantonese?). So they are targeting nouveau riche Chinese and their families. That demographic I think skews to middle age and younger.

  8. @snic – Those are “Traditional Chinese” and “Simplified Chinese”. Traditional Chinese is used by Taiwanese People and people from Hong Kong, while most other Chinese people(Malaysia, Singapore…) use simplified version. There is no written characters for Cantonese since it is a dialect of Chinese.

  9. As a point of comparison, Four Seasons private jet is charging $135,000 for a 3 week journey.

    Well, that’s because the FS PJ trip goes around the world and it’s not just a HKG to Fiji or Tahiti charter.

  10. We recently got off a Crystal Alaska cruise. My third time and my finance’s first. Fabulous!. I can’t wait to travel on their 777.

  11. @lucky – I agree, it’s not as expensive as I expected. Regarding the “luxury hotel” wording – I did a bit of a research by searching their Chinese name on Google, and according to this page on a Taiwanese travel agency (, page in Chinese only), their planned hotel at Bora Bora seems to be Conrad, and Le Meridian and Intercontinental in Tahiti. It’s also interesting to see that they originally planned this to be a HKG-Kenya-Tahiti trip.

    But hey, just as @Charlie suggested, maybe you should try one for the team!

    @askmrlee – True, but the crystal one charges $18,000 for one week of traveling, and four seasons is essentially charing 7x more for a time period 3x longer. I do think that the four seasons one include a lot more flying than simply a charter from HKG to South Pacific, but they are flying a 757 (instead of a 777) and I would imagine that they can get deep discounted rates for all the four season hotels they are staying. Just my 2 cents.

  12. Did Ford make a big commission?
    For 50k/hour + ferry fees, its too bad there are no showers for the post-game flight home.
    Next time, fly Emirates.

  13. @Eric- There are written characters for Cantonese, and some of them are used even if writing in a formal style as Cantonese retained the use of some of the vocabulary from Classical Chinese, which are not used in other dialects such as Mandarin.

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