Sports Outside the Beltway

New Charter flight rules causing headaches for sports teams

Who knew traveling from Toronto to Detroit would become so complicated. From the Windsor Star-

A dispute between Canada and the U.S. on rules concerning charter flights has prevented the Toronto Blue Jays from landing at Windsor Airport — and more sports teams could have the same trouble.

The Blue Jays had originally planned on taking a flight from Toronto to Windsor and then crossing the border to Detroit by bus for their series against the Tigers this weekend.

“It’s a logistical thing. It was just a little easier if we went to Windsor and took the bus over because it’s closer to the hotel and whatnot than the Detroit airport,” said Mike Shaw, manager of team travel for the Blue Jays.

But that travel plan became impossible last month when Transport Canada began strict adherence to regulations that prevent U.S. air charter companies from carrying passengers between Canadian locations.

The charter service used by the Blue Jays is the Florida-based company Miami Air International.

The Canadian rules are being enforced in response to the U.S. Department of Transportation imposing similar restrictions on Air Canada south of the border.

Although the rules aren’t new, sports teams had previously been given special consideration in both countries.

What was the need for the rules in the first place? Probably some charter business owner lobbied for these new rules. Will that person please step forward so I can give him a Knucklehead award at my home blog.

BTW the Blue Jays will now fly into Detroit Metro rather than Windsor. I used to fly into DTW quite frequently when I was a Platinum Northwest Frequent Flyer in the late 90′s and early part of this decade. My flying days came to an end before the new terminal was built in Detroit.

Life isn’t becoming tougher just for the Blue Jays but for the Toronto Raptors and NHL teams also. Maybe the rules will be revised, but I doubt it will happen quickly if at all.

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