Charter trip to Miami update

December 29, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

My inbox and phone and text are flooding with people inquiring about the possibility of a group trip to Miami for the Ravens game this Sunday at 1 p.m. Here’s all the information I have at this point:

First — there IS no trip yet. I’m working feverishly on the financial reality of this.

Getting a chartered jet for a few hundred people ain’t easy and it ain’t cheap. There are no “$99 each way” kinda charters. If this trip happens — and it’s still an ‘if’ at this point — it will be at least a $600 per person trip (my first quotes on flights alone were in the $600 each range), depending on a lot of factors including a hotel night, various airport fees, potential ground transportation and game tickets. It could be as much as $800-$1000 per person if we do an overnight on Saturday. (Some of the charters are much cheaper if you leave at 3 a.m. or some odd hour but they’re unavailable with bowl football taking a bunch of planes.)

I’m not trying to turn this into a “Priceline” issue. I’m just being clear on the reality of getting a chartered jet on four days of notice. I’ve been working on this pretty nonstop since 8 p.m. last night.

As you probably already know if you’re reading this, there are ZERO flights to Miami or anywhere in South Florida available on commercial airlines this weekend from anywhere on the East Coast. There were only a handful of seats left even 10 days ago when I held my own personal space. It was simply impossible to put a group trip together without any notice or site or date or time.

The same case will be true in Tennessee next weekend even though we know the game is a 4:30 Saturday start. There are flights available now, but even those are about $400 per person just for the flight (and there are no group discounts because we couldn’t book it until next Sunday night anyway). Times have changed since 9/11 and 2001 when I took 231 people to Nashville for the AFC Divisional Playoff when Anthony Mitchell, Ray Lewis and Al Del Greco stole the show. (One of the greatest days of my young life…).

Flying and getting a group together is tough these days and I’m fully aware that the economy will affect our ability to go but not our passion for the Ravens. We’re working on it…

Stay tuned. Please keep the emails flowing to me at (nasty@wnst.net). I’m filing them all and will update folks as I know more. But I just want folks prepared for the financial reality of this trip.

There’s no way to do a $350 weekend in Florida on a New Year’s holiday and the weekend of the Orange Bowl.

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