PHOENIX — In the wake of Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner and her teammates getting harassed Saturday morning while waiting to board a flight to Indianapolis at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the Mercury are changing travel plans for the rest of the season.

The most significant change to Griner’s travel plans is the ability to fly charter for the Mercury’s remaining road games, an option that wasn’t available at the onset of the 2023 season, a source told ESPN, even though the league claims it had given the Mercury the freedom to let Griner fly private all year.

Sources have told ESPN that the Mercury might be able to use JSX public charter flights for the entire team on both standard and so-called “created” routes, the latter of which other WNBA teams are not allowed to do. However, neither the league nor Mercury would confirm Friday if that this is the case, nor any other travel details.

Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, also did not comment on the travel arrangements going forward but told ESPN she was “fine” with what has now been provided to Phoenix given the special circumstances.

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert confirmed Friday on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that Griner’s travel and security plans have been readjusted.

Since Saturday’s incident, there has been no clear answer as to why Griner was flying on a commercial airline from Dallas to Indianapolis. The league has said it approved Griner before the 2023 WNBA season began to fly charter for all away games. However, a source told ESPN that the league only pre-approved Griner for two charter flights, a claim the league strongly contests.

Since Griner and her teammates were confronted and recorded by a Blaze Media YouTube personality on Saturday, the Mercury were informed that Griner could fly private charter the rest of the year. But, as mentioned, sources have indicated that the JXS option might be available for the entire team, not just Griner, so she is not separated from her teammates.

Engelbert said on OTL the JSX service was brought to the league’s attention late last year by Los Angeles Sparks forward and WNBPA president Nneka Ogwumike, who had flown the airline.

The JSX service is allowed for all teams by the league, but with certain protocols in place. JSX planes can hold up to 30 people, providing teams the option to buy out an entire flight for their personnel only. JSX has a hub in Phoenix, but not in several other WNBA cities. And the airline’s flights are on pre-set routes and times, which the WNBA has told teams they are not allowed by league rules to change.

JSX has the ability to create flights outside its pre-set schedule, but those are generally more expensive and that’s what the WNBA prohibits. However, that might be adjusted for Phoenix because of the Mercury’s unique circumstances with Griner’s high profile after being imprisoned in Russia from February-December 2022.

Engelbert reiterated on OTL what the league said in statements this past week: That before the season, the WNBA told the Mercury, who like all 12 teams book their own travel, that Phoenix could do “anything you want to do” in terms of travel because “we recognize this unique situation.”

However, a source told ESPN the league did not make that type of broad-stroked recommendation, but approved what Engelbert called a “hybrid plan” in early April at a meeting at the women’s Final Four in Dallas. That plan included Griner flying the two preapproved charter flights with the league having the option to approve more charters based on need with the condition that only Griner — not the entire team — could fly on those planes. Griner and the Mercury would fly standard JSX routes where they were available, and Griner would fly first class on commercial flights for all other trips.

The source said that’s why Griner was in DFW on Saturday. The Mercury had flown standard JSX flights to their first road game, to Los Angeles, and for their next trip, to Dallas. But there wasn’t a standard JSX route to Indianapolis, which is why Griner was on the commercial flight.

“It shouldn’t have been commercial,” Terri Jackson, the executive direction for the WNBA players’ union, said on OTL on Friday.

Jackson saw Griner on Thursday during an WNBPA meeting with the Mercury and said Griner expressed her frustration.

“She said, ‘We knew this was gonna happen,'” Jackson said. “She said, ‘Terri, I read the mail that comes to my locker. It’s fan mail, but it’s also a lot of hate mail.'”

Engelbert said on OTL that she texted Griner on Saturday, telling Griner she knew how serious she felt that situation was. While it seems there is not a consensus on exactly how the previous plan was formulated, there is urgency to avoid any similar issues the rest of the season.

“We’re just working with Phoenix to make sure we have a good plan going forward,” Engelbert said, “certainly for Brittney and for the rest of the Phoenix Mercury.”

Griner missed the Mercury’s game at Washington on Friday night because of a hip injury.

Griner was ruled out roughly 20 minutes before tip-off. It’s the first game she has missed this season since returning from her imprisonment in Russia.

M.A. Voepel contributed to this report.