Jun 12, 2019

WNBA's ban on charter flights continues to cause headaches

Dallas Wings player

Dallas Wings player Isabelle Harrison. Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dallas Wings became the first travel victim of the season when their commercial flight out of Washington, D.C was canceled this weekend and threw everything out of whack.

The backdrop: Charter flights are banned in the WNBA because not every team can afford them, and that policy continues to make headlines. Last season, the Las Vegas Aces forfeited a game after a 26-hour travel day, and the Indiana Fever had a similar problem back in 2015.

Why it matters: The spotlight on the WNBA is brighter than ever, and these travel sagas aren't a good look for the league.

  • As things stand, it's not financially feasible for the league to dive into charter flights, with each trip costing upwards of $150,000. But that doesn't mean changes can't be made.
  • In the NBA, teams scheduled to play on back-to-back nights cannot play on the same day that they travel across at least two time zones (the Aces traveled across four). The least the league could do is adopt that same policy.

What's next: The WNBA and the players association will negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement this offseason. Travel policies should be on the table, so changes could be on the way.

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