The Washington Post

Some officials have the best perks around

US Secretary of State John Kerry gestures at a press conference during the Syrian peace talks in Montreux, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the meeting saying that the peace talks will face Secretary of State John Kerry  (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Some government jobs have really cool perks.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry, for example, has recently taken to being dropped off or picked up en route to flights overseas. It was something former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton also did.

As we noted in 2010: “Some government officials have home-to-office cars and drivers. Not many have home-to-office planes and pilots. This is at least the second time she’s been dropped off in New York City on a flight to Washington. Raised some eyebrows.”

The most famous air commuter, of course, was former defense secretary and CIA director Leon Panetta, who flew home, sans press but with staff, from Washington to California on weekends.

Sometimes the detours by Kerry, who’s been known to take the shuttle as well, simply mean reporters and staff on the State Department plane are left waiting briefly. (Well, nobody was promised a non-stop.)  Sometimes the delays are longer. 

On Kerry’s return Saturday from Davos, Switzerland, the plane detoured to drop him off in Boston, we learned via Twitter. The plane refueled and took off to Washington after a ground delay of over an hour.  After another trip in late November he was dropped off in New York.  Again, the delay for those who stayed on board was relatively brief. Back on New Year’s Day, the plane picked him up in Boston to take off to the Middle East.

But there was a longer delay when he was dropped off in San Francisco on Dec. 18 —  after a killer trip to the Middle East and Asia —  so he could fly to his vacation house in Idaho (via a smaller government plane).  It turned out staff and reporters had to spend the night at a San Fran airport hotel  —  crew rest was required —  and lost a day getting home, right before Christmas.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
Quoted
We'll have half a million voters in South Carolina. I can shake a lot of hands, but I can't shake that many.
Sen. Marco Rubio, speaking to a group of reporters about his strategy to regain support after a poor performance in the last debate
Fact Checker
Sanders’s claim that Clinton objected to meeting with ‘our enemies’
Sanders said that Clinton was critical of Obama in 2008 for suggesting meeting with Iran. In fact, Clinton and Obama differed over whether to set preconditions, not about meeting with enemies. Once in office, Obama followed the course suggested by Clinton, abandoning an earlier position as unrealistic.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.