Japan's Women's Soccer team flies E(+) to Olympics while men are in J.

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by HaveMilesWillTravel, Jul 25, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Since the Olympic Summer Games in London start today (with soccer), here's a travel-related story I just ran across:

    http://espn.go.com/olympics/summer/...-2012-japan-women-fly-economy-men-get-upgrade

    Japan's world champion women's soccer team has taken exception to flying economy while their male counterparts sat in business class on a flight to Europe for the Olympics.
    The women's team was assigned seats in premium economy for the 13-hour flight to Paris while the nation's under-23 men's team was up front on the same flight.
    "It should have been the other way around," 2011 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Homare Sawa told Japanese media after arriving in the French capital. "Even just in terms of age we are senior."
    The Japan Football Association said the men fly business class to the Olympics because they are professionals.
     
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  2. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    they're probably larger and take up more room, as well.
     
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  3. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

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    Translated: They (or their club teams) subsidized the cost of the seats.
     
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  4. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    The women got seats? I thought they were supposed to serve drinks and box meals? :D
     
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  5. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Both teams should have been in business, even when they need two planes to accommodate this, so be it!;)

    Common Sense + Respect = United!:)
     
  6. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    ........while the males crumble......:D
     
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  7. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

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    They should have played a match for it. Winner gets J, loser gets E+

    Anyone scoring an own goal gets checked through as luggage after going through an American security checkpoint.
     
  8. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    .....or this::D

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Strange, the Japan's Women's Soccer rented an RV and they are driving to the Olympics.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    We are still talking soccer, not sumo.
     
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  11. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Yeah!:) Really?:D

    [​IMG]
     
  12. JALPak
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    JALPak Gold Member

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    Sure if you are willing to pay for it ;)
     
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  13. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    I would have been happy when all both teams would fly Economy, as I looked only for an equal playing field!:)
     
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  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I wonder in what cabin the US team is flying. Nothing against the athletes, but I think some of those charter planes that the Pentagon uses for military charters would be an efficient way to transport a large delegation. And if it's comfortable enough for soldiers flying to or from a war zone...
     
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  15. uggboy
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    Depends on the lay-out and interior of the planes. Interesting thought!
     
  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    The US is supposedly sending 530 athletes. Not sure what the ratio of athletes to support staff and "officials" is, but I'd not be surprised if it were the size of a small expeditionary force :)
     
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  17. JALPak
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    JALPak Gold Member

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    Well they could have asked for sponsorship themselves too. The part I am not sure is whether they have requested that in advance and was denied. They can't just expect people to sponsor their upgrades without asking right? Especially if the tradition is to sponsor the professional football players (men's team) but not the amateurs (women's team).
     
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  18. myskyconnections

    myskyconnections Active Member

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    not sure what cabin, but i hear the us team is flying air china...
     
  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Apparently the soccer association is willing to upgrade them if they win Gold.

    The association upgraded the women's team to premium economy in recognition of their status as gold medal contenders. After winning the World Cup, Japan's women's team was upgraded to business class on its return flight from Germany. The JFA said Thursday that similar arrangements could be made if the team wins gold in London.

    Not sure if there's any connection, but personally I started losing interest in the Olympics roughly around the time when more and more professional athletes were allowed to participate.
     
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  20. JALPak
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    JALPak Gold Member

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    yes and they were already upgraded from Y to PY on their outbound because they are gold medal contenders
     
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  21. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    Whereas the men's team has no chance of winning anything so they were C as a consolation prize?
     
  22. JALPak
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    JALPak Gold Member

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    i wouldn't say they have no chance of winning anything. Even weak teams like USA had a chance and made it to the semi before because of the age restrictions.

    Upgrading to C isn't their consolation prize either, it's just the policy JFA has to upgrade the men's team because they are professionals. If both the women and men's teams are professionals and they only upgrade the men's team then it's discrimination. But unfortunately that's not the case.
     
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  23. AUSsie

    AUSsie Silver Member

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    The Japanese women's volleyball team was on my BA GVA-LHR flight this Sunday - they were all seated in economy. No sight of the men's team.
     
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  24. FlyingBear
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    That goes pretty well with your admission that you lost interest in Olympics a while back. Compared to other countries, US is horrible at supporting its Olympians, let alone provide perks like First Class flying. If you are a "sexy" type of athlete, you have the endorsing companies to help you out, otherwise you are mostly on your own.

    For an example: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jtes/the-strongest-woman-in-america-lives-in-poverty
     
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  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Well, I was simply thinking about what the appropriate class of service would be for athletes and their support staff. I don't think it's right to fly some in Coach and others in First/Business if the cost is covered by the national olympic committee or the government. "Chance of winning a medal" shouldn't be a factor. It just doesn't seem right to me.

    And then I thought about how we as a society handle this for other cases... such as military charters. If an aging World Airways MD-11 is good enough to fly soldiers into battle, presumably in a mostly coach configuration, do our athletes need or deserve more comfort on their way to their mission?

    Having crossed the Atlantic countless times in coach (and more recently in business class), I can certainly understand the desire to fly in a more-space-cabin.

    The article you linked to is quite interesting. Thanks for that. The athlete portraited in the story has a blog and actually wrote about her travel to London:

    http://prettystrongblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/olympic-games-1st-week.html

    "We had considered upgrading our flight to first class on the way here because we really needed leg room but, we didn't get our itineraries until the week before we left so we were i n a scramble to get it done. A very fun woman named Laura, donated her miles so we could upgrade and have an awesome flight!"

    She goes on to report her experience in the United Club. Seems the travel experience was quite good for her. I wish her the best in her competition.
     
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