As many of you know, professional sports teams that have charter flights they use to travel generally use the same flight number for all their flights, and thus, the flight can be tracked.
Sunday night, the Cubs’ flight to San Francisco left O’Hare Airport at 7:20 p.m., about two and a half hours after David Bote’s walkoff walk, for a planned arrival at SFO at approximately 7:44 p.m. Pacific time.
As you can see on this flight history, about two hundred miles west of Denver, the flight was diverted and landed at Denver International Airport at a little after 10 p.m. Central time (9 p.m. local time in Denver).
The Cubs and their traveling party then apparently spent about an hour and a half waiting at DEN before the flight departed there at 11:24 p.m. CT (10:24 local time in Denver), finally landing at SFO at 11:42 p.m. Pacific time.
There’s been no public announcement of what happened here, but there’s a clue at those two links. The flight from ORD to DEN is listed as being on a Boeing 737-900 aircraft. But the flight from DEN to SFO is listed as being on a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Thus the most likely explanation is that the plane had some sort of mechanical problem which forced the pilots to land in Denver and wait for a replacement aircraft to be readied, and then the entire Cubs traveling party had to switch planes.
Inconvenient, to be sure, but fortunately it appears that everyone arrived safely in San Francisco, about four hours later than they’d planned.
You might recall that last October, as the Cubs were flying from their division series victory in Washington to begin the NLCS in Los Angeles, their plane made an unscheduled stop in Albuquerque. Eventually it was learned that Jose Quintana’s wife had fallen ill on the plane and needed medical attention. Fortunately, all was well in that situation too.
I’ll update this story later today if more information becomes available.