The Los Angeles Sparks spent the night in the airport Sunday. The team’s flight home from Washington, D.C., was canceled, which left half the team sleeping in the airport, star Nneka Ogwumike said.
Ogwumike chronicled the ordeal on social media, updating her followers on the team’s attempt to fly home Sunday after defeating the Mystics. The Sparks will face the Connecticut Sun in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
“This is my first time in 11 seasons that I’ve ever had to sleep in the airport,” Ogwumike said. “Half of us are sleeping in the airport, half of us are in a hotel. There weren’t enough rooms.”
According to Ogwumike, the team’s flight was delayed several times before being canceled at 1 a.m. ET and rescheduled for the morning at 9 a.m. ET.
First time for everything @WNBA pic.twitter.com/w3PSHxCcJk— Nneka Ogwumike (@nnekaogwumike) August 8, 2022
First time for everything @WNBA pic.twitter.com/w3PSHxCcJk
Sparks assistant coach Latricia Trammell also took to Twitter to lament the team’s travel misfortunes.
When United tells you at 1am that your flight is now canceled and leaving at 9am #unreal #theydeservebetter pic.twitter.com/CIRbdsBUCE— Coach Trammell (@TrammellCoach) August 8, 2022
When United tells you at 1am that your flight is now canceled and leaving at 9am #unreal #theydeservebetter pic.twitter.com/CIRbdsBUCE
Travel accommodations have been a hot topic in the WNBA, with many players calling for a move away from commercial flights to chartered flights. The league, however, requires all teams to fly commercial to mitigate competitive advantage, with some owners unwilling or unable to secure charter flights.
In response to travel grievances, the WNBA supplied charter flights for the Commissioner’s Cup championship game and will do the same for the WNBA Finals.