One-day flights offered to avid sports fans for major games
When Arturo Gomez's wife was seven months pregnant, he wanted to attend an out-of-town football game.
But that meant the Big Ten die-hard fan would be driving and staying at hotels for days.
His wife gave her blessings for him to attend the game on one condition -- that he returned home that same night.
"That's when I talked to Todd (Rubin) and some others and we secured a plane," said Gomez, 42.
They flew round trip in one day to the game and Gomez was sleeping in his own bed that night. His wife was happy. And the experience made Gomez and Rubin happy, too, when they moved on the idea to build a transportation business around major sporting events.
A year later, Gomez and Rubin partnered with some private investors to form Big Game Air, a luxury game-day travel experience company with flights through Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling. The business launches today and aims to capture the avid sports fan who enjoys the game-day experiences without dealing with driving and hotels.
Big Game Air offers round-trip jet transportation between Chicago Executive and the game town to see highly popular games, such as the Chicago Bears at the Green Bay Packers, the Super Bowl, or any number of Big Ten games. It also will use jets for the Kentucky Derby and other major sporting events.
Big Game Air will subcontract a private luxury jet to accommodate up to 30 people per flight. It will handle all round-trip travel for the game city, including ground transportation to the stadium.
Consumers also can arrange for jet hanger parties, pub crawls, tailgate and other game-day experiences.
Then, one hour after the game ends, fans return to the plane to fly home. No membership or subscription is necessary to do the flights.
Gomez and Rubin said their company's maiden flight is the Sept. 9 game featuring the Oklahoma Sooners versus the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, Ohio.
"The luxury is also in the time saved," said Rubin, 40, an Arlington Heights native. "You're not doing a five-hour drive to the city where the game is, and you're not burning up two days in a hotel."
Prices for the round-trip flight and related events range from $1,200 to $2,200. The price does not include the game tickets, which can be purchased separately through their website via a ticket service.
"Our flight packages are all inclusive, but not the game tickets, because we learned that many people have their own idea of what a good seat is at a game," Rubin said.
Plan a trip with Big Game AirHere are some of the upcoming games where you can book one-day round-trip transportation on Big Game Air:
Sept. 9: Oklahoma at Ohio St.
Sept. 9: Georgia at Notre Dame
Sept. 23: Notre Dame at Michigan St.
Sept. 23: Penn St. at Iowa
Sept. 28: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers