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All 30 MLB Teams’ Air Travel Choices Ranked

Navigating the aircraft choices of America's past time

A United 757-200 aircraft (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

As Opening Day approaches, it’s not just team rankings or projections that capture our attention, but also something a bit off the beaten path: each MLB team’s air travel preferences during the grueling regular season. We’ll consider factors like aircraft size, layout, and age to bring you a definitive ranking.

Ironically in Sixth is The Only Team That Owns Their Jet

Let’s kick off with the Detroit Tigers, who find themselves in the final slot. They’re currently transitioning from a team-owned MD-80 to an ex-Miami Air 737-800 purchased by the team’s owner. The aircraft will be shared with Detroit’s NHL team, the Red Wings. We’re in the dark about how the 737 will be outfitted post-renovation, and sharing isn’t typically the best for privacy or comfort. That’s why they’re at the bottom of our list for now, although there’s room for improvement once the aircraft is kitted out.

The Number 5 Spot Is Taken By an All-Economy 737-400 Layout

In fifth place, we have a tie between the Oakland Athletics and the Texas Rangers. These teams are jetting off on iAero Airways 737s. This airline services a variety of different contracts, and its fleet’s not the youngest, averaging 31 years for the 737-400s and 22 years for the 737 NGs. Plus, the aircraft are configured with a no-frills, all-economy layout — far from luxurious.

An iAero 737 (Photo: Ganbaruby, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

In Fourth, The Only Canadian MLB Team Flies This Canadian Airline

Fourth place is taken by the Toronto Blue Jays. They hop from game to game aboard an Air Canada A320, with an average fleet age of 24.5 years. The seating plan offers only 14 business class seats, along with 36 preferred and 98 economy seats. Even with extra space, economy class isn’t where you’d want to be for optimal rest, especially on those long flights back to Canada from stateside games.

An Air Canada A320 parked in Los Angeles (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

The Third Place Squads Are United Narrowbody Loyalists

Third place features a variety of aircraft but under one carrier: United Airlines. Teams like the Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros, and Cleveland Guardians are flying on United’s 737 MAX 8s and 9s. Despite past safety concerns, these airplanes are relatively new, with an average age of just 12 years.

The Chicago White Sox take to the skies in United’s A320s, which are not as fresh, averaging 25 years old. Still, the airline’s cabin layouts are consistent across the fleet, offering 12-20 First Class, 40 Economy Plus, and the remainder in standard economy seats.

A United 737 MAX 8 (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Noah Escobar)

The Runner-Ups Just Lost by Two Lie-Flat 757 First Class Seats

Now, the runner-up spot was a photo finish. Teams such as the San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Miami Marlins, New York Mets, Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Minnesota Twins, and the New York Yankees are all flying Delta’s 757 fleet. The Delta jets boast up to 26 lie-flat beds and a mix of 35 standard and 165 economy seats, providing a decent amount of comfort for those looking to avoid a slump.

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 climbs out of Eagle County Airport.
(Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Coming in First, the LA Teams and Denver Enjoying Their Extra Lie-Flat Seats on United 757s

Taking home the trophy, we have the Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Colorado Rockies, all boarding United 757s. Yes, they’re showing their age at 24.7 years on average, but the layout is where they win big. With 28 lie-flat seats, 42 Economy Plus, and 42 standard economy spots, it seems most of the team can stretch out and get some rest. The Dodgers love this seat layout, it gives them plenty of room to rest when they’re eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by a wildcard team every season.

A United 757 departs Los Angeles.
(Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

So, who’s ready to play spot-the-plane this season? Extra points for anyone who can track down the flight numbers each team uses all season long. End-of-season records may vary, and aircraft type and airline won’t guarantee outstanding team performances.

AirlineGeeks.com Staff

Author

  • Kevin Cortes

    Kevin Cortes is the Director of Audience Development of Firecrown and a private pilot. Previously, he worked at AOPA and led the social media team at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Connect with him on X.com at @_kevincortes_.

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