The Las Vegas Aces were stuck in the airport for 24 hours before a game because WNBA teams fly commercial

The Las Vegas Aces have a 7 p.m. tip-off time in their Friday night game against the Washington Mystics, but with their luck, they might arrive to D.C. with a few minutes to spare. That’s because WNBA teams don’t fly charter planes; they fly coach like everyone else. And once the Aces’ Thursday flight was delayed, the rest was outside of their control.

(UPDATE: The WNBA has pushed tip-off time from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. to account for Las Vegas’ flight delays.)

The Aces arrived at the airport at 11 a.m. on Thursday for a 1 p.m. flight. Their flight got delayed, then delayed again. There were so many delays, Moriah Jefferson and Lindsay Allen took time to register to vote.

The Aces ended up taking a red-eye flight from Las Vegas to Dallas, only to be met with a 2.5-hour layover before flying to Washington, D.C.

And guess what? The delays aren’t over; there’s been another one in Dallas.

In total, Las Vegas will have traveled more than 24 hours by the time they land in D.C. with only six hours to rest, eat and prepare for a game with playoff implications. The Aces are a game out of the playoffs, which means every game is big for them, especially for a team that was the worst in the WNBA last season.

This is bigger than the playoffs, though

WNBA players are still flying commercial airlines instead of charter planes their NBA counterparts enjoy. It’s an issue that has been covered extensively, though it’s unclear if there’s a solution on the horizon.

There’s also the player safety aspect. The Aces won’t have much time to decompress before warming up for their 7 p.m. game. That could put players at a higher risk for injury when they get on the court.

The Las Vegas Aces will have spent an entire day traveling for Friday’s game against the Washington Mystics, a game they need to win to keep their nose above water in the playoff race. They shouldn’t have had to wait this long for a flight. Hopefully one day, they’ll fly charter.


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