Charter flying returns to Trans States!

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Thanks to Warren Crotty for braving the cold last week to take these pictures of one of our charter flights deplaning in STL.  The Wichita men’s basketball team arrived on Friday morning for Final Four action over the weekend.

After a two year hiatus, Trans States has returned to the world of charter flying!  In addition to our regularly scheduled commercial service for American and United, we have also been operating charter flights for NCAA sports teams since late December.

There are a few notable differences between our charter flying and our scheduled commercial service.  All charter flights arrive and depart from Fixed Base Operators (FBOs), rather than commercial airports, which means that charter passengers don’t go through standard TSA screenings like our commercial passengers do.  That’s where the Ground Security Coordinator (GSC) comes in.  In addition to the E145’s regular crew of two pilots and one flight attendant, each charter flight also carries a Ground Security Coordinator (GSC), who is a mechanic.  In addition to providing maintenance services, the GSC also handles security-related issues, including checking IDs and comparing them to the passenger manifest.

Other notable differences between the two types of flying include the way that charter flights are marketed and the way that seats are sold.  On our commercial flights, all marketing and ticket sales are handled by our mainline partners.  However, on the charter side, we contract with a company that markets and sells charter flying, and then matches available charter aircraft with customers like the NCAA.

Manager of Revenue Management Warren Crotty acts as the Charter Operations Coordinator, and handles the bulk of the behind-the-scenes planning for our charter flying.  Warren stresses that the success of the charter operation can be attributed to lots of teamwork, coordination and communication between a number of departments.  Flight Ops, Inflight, Crew Scheduling and Maintenance are all instrumental in getting each flight appropriately staffed and charter commissary loaded, while Dispatch ensures that the charter aircraft is fueled a few hours prior to the charter departure.

The majority of our charter flying has been for the Wichita State men’s basketball team, but other sports teams we’ve carried so far this year include:

    • Wichita State Women’s Basketball
    • DePaul Men’s Basketball
    • Illinois State Men and Women’s Basketball
    • Southern Illinois University Men and Women’s Basketball
    • Michigan State Men and Women’s Basketball
    • Wisconsin Women’s Basketball
    • U Conn Women’s Basketball
    • Iowa Wrestling

As we head into spring, our charter flying will be transitioning primarily to NCAA baseball, with our first collegiate baseball charter, Auburn Men’s Baseball, scheduled for Thursday of this week.