But Did He Earn Miles? New Yankees Pitcher Charters 787 From Japan to JFK For Press Conference



Of The Year, So Far.

Well, for me at least.

New Yankees Pitcher

The Yankees signed a super stud pitcher from Japan to bolster our bullpen rotation for the upcoming season.  As a diehard Yankees fan, I was super pumped.  As a diehard travel geek and self-avowed 787 fan, I absolutely love how he got there.

For a mere $200,000, he chartered a 787 from Tokyo to JFK for his debut in Yankee pinstripes:

Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who signed a seven-year, $155 million contract with the New York Yankees last month, didn’t waste any time when it came to spending some of that newfound wealth: on Sunday, he chartered a brand-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner to fly himself and six other passengers from Japan to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Total cost of the flight, chartered from Japan Airlines? $200,000, the New York Timesreports. FlightAware, which tracks commercial flights, had no data available for the journey.

The 787, Boeing’s newest jet, is a twin-engine super-modern aircraft with anywhere between 210 and 330 seats, depending on how airlines choose to configure them. Tanaka, not the Yankees, made the unusual call to charter a jet typically filled with at least a couple hundred people, the Times reports.

Why rent a 787? Tanaka’s due to make his pinstripes debut this week, and he wanted to beat a snowstorm currently impacting travel in the U.S. — but that doesn’t totally explain why he didn’t charter a more reasonable long-range jet for the journey. The aircraft also didn’t carry any passengers on its ferry flight back to Tokyo, making Tanaka’s adventure far from the greenest of travel arrangements.

And, apparently if you spend close to $200K to charter the plane, they let you bring your dog too:

The plane, which can seat 200, brought a slightly smaller party to the Big Apple — Tanaka, his wife, his brown toy poodle and three other people, according to multiple reports.


I’ve got to imagine he could have picked up  Japan Airlines Crystal status, since he chartered the jet from them.

ETA: Thanks to Frankie for pointing out I don’t know the difference between bullpen and rotation.  Call it lack of sleep or stupidity.


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  1. This is trivial but he isn’t bolstering the bullpen – he is a starter. You don’t pay that kind of money to a reliever in bullpen.

    1. Frank, chuckle. That’s what I get for posting too quickly. I meant rotation. Thanks for pointing my mistake out.

  2. The most surprising thing about this is that it *only* cost $200k. I’ve seen $70K quotes for coast to coast travel on the larger business jets so $200k from Japan to NYC on a 787 seems cheep! Shoot, I once got a quote of $13K for a round trip from Orlando to Key West for 7 people (although I think a large chunk of that cost was to reposition the airplane from up north). I called up some charter outfits just to see what it would cost. 🙂

    I just checked and ANA is charging $18-20k per person for first class from Tokyo to New York, non stop.

  3. Guess it depends on the fuel cost. If it cost $50k in fuel each way, they just marked it up 100%, which is a pretty sweet deal.

    Also, Japan LOVES its sports stars, so they may have been star struck and given him a good deal.

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