Travel Post-Ups: How the Celtics Got to London
Monday, Jan. 8 - Off to London!
A Rundown of the Celtics' Lengthy Travel Day to London
LONDON - Off to London we go!
Monday was travel day for the Celtics, and it was no typical travel day. It began at 8:30 a.m., and it didn’t end until more than 10 hours later.
I guess that’s what happens when you play a game in London, huh?
The C’s convened at a private terminal at Boston Logan International Airport at 8:30 a.m. for their flight to London for Thursday’s matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers. Boston’s traveling party consisted of the team’s coaches and players and many of their family members, front-office personnel and some of their family members, as well as some corporate partners and NBA personnel.
Boarding began just ahead of 9 a.m. The plane was absolutely gorgeous. Every seat on the plane fully reclined and was paired with a pillow, a blanket and a travel kit. The key to the travel kit? Eye masks for everyone’s sleeping pleasure!
Orange juice was pleasantly served by the flight crew, along with their British accents. So those who traveled on the plane were already adjusting to London before they even arrived across the Atlantic.
The jets to the massive aircraft propelled us forward at exactly 10:08 a.m. and we were in the air just seconds later. We would stay above the Earth for the next six hours and 13 minutes.
Thankfully, the aircraft was suited with a strong entertainment selection. Movies, music and TV shows were all offered free of charge. All users needed to do was log on via their smart device and click play.
Breakfast was served shortly after take-off. Options were wheat pancakes or breakfast sandwiches. Both came with fruit and yogurt. Snacks later became available at leisure in the lounge area of the aircraft, right between the front portion of seats and the back portion of seats. (Yes, there was a couch there.) Later in the flight, dinner was served. I went with the sesame and ginger chicken, which may or may not have been accompanied a piece of cheesecake.
It wasn’t until 9 p.m. local time in London that we finally heard the announcement that we were beginning our final descent. The plane touched down in London at 9:21 p.m. local time, which doubled as 4:21 p.m. in Boston.
All passengers from the plane quickly moved through security before heading into a large hangar that housed three chartered buses. After boarding the buses, the trip to the hotel began, and it wasn’t a short one.
It took 70 minutes to travel from the airport to the hotel, and that’s without much traffic. Remember, it was 10 p.m. by the time the buses began the drive. The roads were very clear.
The buses finally arrived at the team hotel after 11 p.m. and the entire party then convened in a ballroom for a security meeting. The NBA’s security staff welcomed our group and explained the dos and don’ts, as well as what to watch out for and how to be safe here in London. This portion of overseas trips always seems like a hassle when we arrive at our destination, but it’s obviously important in this day and age.
Following the security meeting, Brad Stevens held a team meeting with the players and coaches, all while some late-night dinner was served. The rest of the party grabbed a bite in a different ballroom.
With that, we were already well past midnight. We hadn’t been awake all too long, but the lengthy day of travel seemed to have taken a toll on everyone who was on the plane. Some planned to stay up to watch a bit of the College Football Playoff championship game, while others went straight to bed.
The team convenes for film at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, and then will head out for practice. We’ll have your updates Tuesday afternoon… or, morning, depending on where you’re reading from!
- Marc D'Amico