Which Airline And Aircraft Did The Carolina Panthers Fly To The Super Bowl?

Written by Charlie

For the Carolina Panthers, they had a long flight to make to get to Super Bowl 50 (probably seemed even longer coming back). Here is the airline and aircraft they used for that trip.

With Super Bowl 50 in the rear view mirrors, many people are done with this year and looking forward to the next season (especially Panther fans). Since my Buffalo Bills (by region, not necessarily choice) have not been to the big game in a looonng time, I am used to not really having a favorite in the game but just picking based on little things when time gets close. 🙂

Which Airline And Plane Did The Carolina Panthers Fly To The Super Bowl?

Carolina Panthers

From AA.com

But, being an airplane thing, I was curious which aircraft the Carolina Panthers flew for the long journey cross-country from North Carolina to California. I mean, after all, Charlotte is an American Airlines hub so one would certainly figure that American Airlines is the airline that hauls the team around. That I knew but I was curious about to see the particular aircraft they ended using for the journey to the big game.

The Aircraft

It turns out, they flew on an American Airlines Airbus A330-200 airplane for the 4 hour and 57 minute trip. The number of that particular aircraft was N287AY. It normally serves a variety of European destinations out of Philadelphia and Charlotte with a handful of flights to Orlando, Miami, and Punta Cana.

This particular aircraft has 20 business class seats and 238 seats in economy. It is safe to say that not all of those seats are occupied during the trip! Here’s the thing – a lot of football players are pretty big guys and I would think economy would be difficult to take for 5 hours for some of them. I wonder how they divvy up the seats and who gets the business class seats? Maybe coaching staff and a few players like Newton? I do know this – Guard Trai Turner was sitting in what appears to be Row 31, Seat C and he is 6 foot 3 and 320 pounds! That could not have been a pleasant trip in that seat!

To see other trips by the Carolina Panthers, you can search for AA flight # 9434 as that is the number assigned to them. They do not always fly the A330-200 – in fact, most of the time it is the A321.

For the sad return home Monday, they left San Jose at 11AM and ended up flying almost right over Denver to get back (check this map to see that little lift up). I doubt the pilot fed them that piece of flyover information on the way… I also doubt they were saving money by bringing Denver back to their city as well!

To find out if you recently flew on this same aircraft, check out this FlightAware data to see where this aircraft has been. Being aviation related, I thought it was kind of interesting to track it down and see how they ended up traveling. To see photos from the journey, visit this page here.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • They may have flown out on that plane, but they did not fly back on it. The plane turned around and flew back to CLT on the 31st and has not flown back out west since. The flight back was just AA putting the plane back to a base that uses A330s so it could go back into regular rotation. Not sure which plane they flew back on.

  • Since the plane was probably at maybe half capacity (if the players had their families fly with them) they probably weren’t packed in like sardines. That plane looks like it’s majority 2-4-2 in economy, so I’ll bet at very least players got an empty seat next to them (there are 33 rows x 2 (both sides of plane) with two seats, so that is 66 people, and then all the middle seats are four across, so maybe some got lucky with a row to stretch out.