A private jet is basically the ultimate way to travel, but it’s a luxury afforded only to the richest people on the planet. Not every star athlete elects to take that opportunity, however, even when they can afford to. Indeed, for every Dwayne Johnson, LeBron James and David Beckham gunning around in a multimillion-dollar jet, there’s a Ronda Rousey or Mike Tyson who, for one reason or another, choose to fly commercial.
20. Floyd Mayweather – Private Jet
Floyd Mayweather is not only unbeaten in the ring, but he’s also likely unrivaled for his collection of private jets. You see, the boxing superstar apparently added a third plane to his collection in 2018. And the craft is unmistakably his: dubbed “AirMayweather,” it’s emblazoned with his “The Money Team” TMT brand. The crew’s uniform, meanwhile, features “50-0” embroidered on the sleeve, referencing the boxer’s undefeated record. It’s hardly surprising that Mayweather owns multiple private jets, though, considering just how massive his fortune is. In fact, he’s the highest-paid boxer ever, supposedly raking in over $800 million during his career.
19. Triple H – Private Jet
Triple H is undeniably one of WWE’s most iconic wrestlers, having achieved superstardom at the beginning of the century. Nowadays, though, he mostly spends his time working behind the scenes of the franchise. Alongside his own massively successful NXT project, he also contributes to WWE storylines, manages talent and even handles PR duties. It stands to reason, then, that he and his wife Stephanie McMahon, whose family owns a majority stake in WWE, travel about a lot. And they do so in style, in a Bombardier Global 5000 private jet that apparently cost around $27 million.
18. LeBron James – Private Jet
LeBron James is not just one of the highest-earning basketball players in the world, but he is also widely regarded as the best, too. It’s no wonder, then, that he travels in a private jet – even if it is eyewateringly expensive. Specifically, the Lakers star owns a Gulfstream G280, which likely set him back around $22 million. A long career backed up by huge sponsorship deals has allowed James to build a net worth in the region of $450 million, however, so even that purchase won’t have broken the bank.
17. Sidney Crosby – Business Class
Basketball’s top player may fly privately, but his equal in the NHL doesn’t. Yes, Sidney Crosby – often considered to be the greatest hockey player ever – is known for his level-headed approach to stardom. In line with that ethos, then, Crosby doesn’t own a private jet. Instead, he’s a regular fixture in airport snaps when fans are lucky enough to spot him in the terminal.
16. Michael Jordan – Private Jet
You can never accuse Michael Jordan of being off-brand, since even the former basketballer’s private jet is painted to look like one of his Air Jordan sneakers. Originally sporting a white-and-blue wraparound paint job, the craft was given an update in 2017 to match his latest branded footwear. The G550 jet also sports the iconic Jumpman logo. And as Jordan is the NBA’s first star to have become a billionaire, even the cost of that luxury purchase is likely a drop in the ocean when it comes to MJ’s finances.
15. Conor McGregor – Private Jet
Ahead of Conor McGregor’s lucrative showdown with Floyd Mayweather in 2017, the former UFC champion splashed out on his own private jet. Dubbed “Notorious Airways,” the plane carries more than 30 passengers as well as pilots and crew. Of course, McGregor ended up losing his inaugural boxing match to Mayweather, but that didn’t stop him reportedly raking in a nine-figure sum for his efforts. And in the time since then, he’s shared plenty of snaps of himself enjoying the Notorious Airways lifestyle – whether for business or pleasure.
14. Manny Pacquiao – Private Jet
Subtlety is apparently not Manny Pacquiao’s strong suit. Then again, the multi-talented boxer and politician has probably earned the right to adorn his jet with such ostentatious livery. After all, he’s boxing’s sole world champion in eight divisions, having spread himself across multiple weight classes. And his current role as a senator in the Philippines is reportedly setting him up for a presidential candidacy, too. So, you can probably forgive Pacquiao for emblazoning his name and face on the side of his plane.
13. Mike Tyson – Business Class
Boxing legend Mike Tyson was once the 14th-richest athlete in the history of modern sport. If anyone on this list was an obvious candidate for owning a private jet, it would have been him. But in 2003 he declared bankruptcy, having blown his $300 million fortune. And while Tyson has since built himself back up to a sizable $3 million net worth, that’s hardly private jet money. This probably explains why the one-time world heavyweight champion flies business class.
12. Cristiano Ronaldo – Private Jet
Cristiano Ronaldo is clearly a fan of the finer things in life – and he isn’t afraid to show off his wealth, either. After all, as of January 2018 he owned the costliest private jet of any soccer player, according to The Sun. The Juventus forward’s $36 million Gulfstream G650 seats almost 20 people and can reach speeds of more than 600 mph. If that seems pricey even for a soccer superstar, Ronaldo apparently agrees; to make some of the money back, he rents out the plane for around $7,000 an hour.
11. Lionel Messi – Private Jet
Whether Lionel Messi is a better soccer player than Ronaldo is a hotly contested debate among fans. When it comes to the value of the pair’s respective private jets, though, there’s a clear winner. Messi lags just behind his fellow superstar, with his ride costing around $32 million. But his Embraer Legacy 650 is still a luxurious way to travel, with a top speed of 528 mph. It can also seat 14 people and store more than 1,000 kg of luggage, so the Barcelona captain will never have to fly solo.
10. Magic Johnson – Private Jet
Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. travels in style in his post-basketball life. The ex-Lakers point guard owns a Gulfstream G-III, you see, aboard which he’s executed some landmark transactions – such as selling his stake in the Lakers, for instance. And the Hall of Famer has even flown players on the plane while arranging trades as part of his current role at the Lakers, where he’s now president of basketball operations. The jet’s tail number, meanwhile, is N32MJ, in honor of Johnson’s jersey number and initials.
9. Ronda Rousey – Business Class
UFC champion-turned-WWE superstar Ronda Rousey clearly hasn’t let her fame and fortune go to her head. She still had her 2005 Honda Accord until 2015, when her family sold it on eBay for $21,300. And in that spirit, she hasn’t “invested” in a private jet, either; in fact, she’s been spotted regularly in Los Angeles’ LAX airport.
8. Roger Federer – Private Jet
It’s hardly surprising that Roger Federer has his own private jet. After all, he’s one of the greatest tennis players in the world, holding numerous records. Among his many accolades are the greatest number of Wimbledon men’s titles, the joint-highest number of men’s Australian Open titles and the highest total of successive weeks at the top of the ATP rankings. All that and plenty of lucrative marketing deals have given the Swiss superstar a sizable fortune, making him the world’s best-paid tennis player. A private jet just seems like the obvious thing to spend the cash on, then.
7. Tiger Woods – Private Jet
Tiger Woods may not be the golfer he once was – although his recent form indicates he’s getting back up there – but his incredible sporting legacy won’t be matched by many. And neither will the extravagance of his private jet, which is apparently worth around $54 million. Of course, Woods is one of the most profitable athletes of all time, so he can definitely afford to splash out. And that’s exactly what he did where his Gulfstream G550 is concerned. In fact, the astonishing aircraft can go for 7,500 miles without stopping, just in case Woods needs to take a direct trip from New York to Shanghai.
6. Kobe Bryant – Private Jet
When Kobe Bryant was just six years old, his father uprooted the entire family and took them to Italy. Seven years later, the clan returned to the U.S., and it wasn’t long before Bryant was leaving high school and entering the world of basketball. His career was a hugely successful one, too, spanning two decades and netting him a $500 million fortune. Nowadays, though, the ex-Lakers star spends his summers traveling to various European countries, including Italy, on his private jet – and with his own family in tow.
5. Erin Hamlin – Business Class
Erin Hamlin may be responsible for “the greatest moment in U.S. luge history,” according to the Associated Press, but the Olympian still keeps things humble. Not even being chosen to be the U.S. flag bearer at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, went to her head. Yes, Hamlin still traveled in business class on the same flight as her teammates.
4. David Beckham – Private Jet
Retirement is treating David Beckham well, it appears. Indeed, the legendary soccer player’s $450 million fortune only continues to rise, as his company DB Ventures Limited nets millions every year. With all that money to play with, then, it’s little surprise that Beckham owns a private jet. Specifically, he has a Bombardier Challenger 350 – the most popular business jet of recent times, which goes for around $24 million. And it can carry eight passengers at once, so there’s plenty of room for Victoria and the kids.
3. Lewis Hamilton – Private Jet
Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton is one of the richest sports stars in the world. But that didn’t stop him from becoming embroiled in a tax scandal in 2017 over his $21 million Bombardier private jet. Hamilton had allegedly utilized shell firms to dodge paying European taxes on the plane when he imported it to England from Canada in 2013. And while some tax-avoidance schemes are legal, a joint investigation by worldwide media outlets revealed documents that suggested Hamilton’s scheme was illegitimate. In the end, though, he reportedly avoided paying around $4 million in tax.
2. Dwayne Johnson – Private Jet
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the highest-earning actor in Hollywood, so it makes sense that he also owns one of the world’s most expensive – and according to him, fastest – private jets. His Gulfstream G650 is worth around $65 million, beating out pretty much every other aircraft on this list. And the former wrestler’s photos outside his ride – which he posts to his Instagram account – are almost as iconic as he is. To be fair, though, nobody who travels frequently wants to spend half their lives in airport terminals. And with his fortune, Johnson has the option not to.
1. The Undertaker – Business Class
Mark William Calaway may have enjoyed incredible success as The Undertaker, but the wrestler still keeps things humble. In fact, he’s apparently about as down to earth as it gets. You see, not only does the WWE legend fly commercial rather than scoot about in a private jet, but he’s also happy to stop for photos with fans who spot him in the airport.