January 4th, 2009
03:39 PM ET
12 years ago

Transition to Power: Obama flying 'Air Force One' backup

President-elect Barack Obama is now flying a U.S. military 757 like the one pictured above.

President-elect Barack Obama is now flying a U.S. military 757 like the one pictured above.

CHICAGO (CNN) - In a sign of just how close he is to formally taking the reigns of power, President-elect Barack Obama is no longer flying commercial.

Reporters arriving at Midway Airport for Mr. Obama's afternoon flight to Washington were greeted by an Air Force 757 with a crew wearing jackets that say "Air Force One" in script on the front.

Obama aides say this is the first time as President-elect that he is flying a military jet that is in the rotation to be used as Air Force One, though it is technically never called "Air Force One" unless the current president is flying on it.

The transition team chartered a plane from United Airlines for the President-elect's recent holiday vacation to Hawaii, so Sunday's flight marks yet another sign of the transfer of power.

Layne Hoppman, an Air Force security official, said the plane Mr. Obama is flying Sunday is used as Air Force One when one of the two planes currently at President Bush's disposal is in service.

He noted that the plane, which was rolled out around 1998, is also occasionally used by the sitting Vice President, First Lady, Members of Congress or military officials using Andrews Air Force Base.

"It's the workhorse of Andrews," said Hoppman.

Now it has another distinction: carrying the President-elect for his official move to Washington just over two weeks before his historic swearing-in.

As for Mr. Obama, from here on out he doesn't have to worry about taking off his shoes at security lines or missing his connections - at least for the next four years.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Lauren

    Hey, Proud American,,,, as usual your input you immature sattire and senseless comments. Whether you like it or not, Bush will get many perks after he leaves office. Just lke every other living president. He will have his retirment, secret service protection, health care. All provided by you and every other taxpayer. I may be worng, but I am willing to bet they all get travel costs paid for if they are doing any sort of diplomatic work,or official business, even after they leave office.

    Now here is the big question,,, why does this CNN ticker only have issue that are pretty much irrelavant to todays problems. Why does this ticker not have issues like what is going on in Gaza, the homeless. We hear about Obama having to move into a motel, SO WHAT? What about all those folks who have no where to move? They live in cars, on streets. Why does this ticker not use this forum as a place to maybe get input on these problems. NOOOO, we hear about how Obama will get to lfy ont he big jet. We all knew he would,, so where is the news here?????

    January 4, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. the Reality

    President Bush attacked a country with false evidence. the un inspectors were still conducting the search for WMD when Mr Bush and Mr Cheney decided to attack the country. the completely destroyed the countries infrastructure and left it at the brink of civil war. all of our allies have quit the region and now it left for the US to clean up the mess they created with our tax money. and we know how good we are at cleaning up mess. Congress man Charlie Wilson can answer that question very well... how we left Afghanistan in shambles after the civil war after it helped us bring USSR to its knees. we could provide billions of dollars in weapons but could not have built school for people in afghanistan because why would we want any thrid world country to raise up to our standards. we want them to keep fighting among each others so that we can sell them weapons. Who created the heaven for terrorist in Afghanistan. we did when we left the country after afghan soviet war without ever helping the people to stand up on their feet. and we are doing it again now. sending forces to that region is not the answer. send engineers build schools teach them how to live there life that should be our mission which has not been the mission of Mr Bush. he was ready to put a mission accomplished banner behind him when all of iraq was burning in fire. that is the kind of impression we have left on the whole world. and now its coming back to hurt us. when our own economy is so shattered that we now need help from countries like china and India to put food on our tables. they are giving us credit so that we can run the government the way we have been ... what happens if they don't.... our way of life will be disrupted forever the way things are going in this country... there is a cloud of fear in us .... we know what we have done to rest of the world and now we are afraid of reprecussions. but we can change all that but we cant do it with the philosophy of Mr. Bush and Seceretary of State Rice.

    January 4, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. jack

    Sorry we have left you such a mess Obama, if you can pull us out of this one your name will likely go down with Churchill, Gandi, and even Kennedy will have to step aside. We know the task is overwhelming as the crooks have had 8 years to get established in the system. They have cost us trillions yet they have not had to be accountable for any of it. I hope you can see that they are. Do not become bought out like the previous crooks. Remember the crooks with money won't like you if you do things for the people so ware the vest.

    January 4, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Dale Moore

    The end of President Bush's time in office cannot not come soon enough. This is a man who has done his best to destroy a nation for his own political gains. Look what he failed to do for the victims of Katrina. Hired a Republican owned company to build turbines to prevent flooding in New Orleans, and not one of them works. This is what this President has done to this country.

    He should be arrested and charged for crimes against the American people.

    January 4, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. Sherrol in Canada

    As per Ne-Yo, 'come closer, come closer'.

    January 4, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. MK

    Anything to keep him safe, we'll need him in a few days. Here's to 1/20/2009, what a glorious day that will be!

    January 4, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. Proud American

    Hey Lauren, the only perk Bush should get leaving office is PRISON and you along with him for being a bigger Idiot than he is. Your the reason why brothers and sister's should never have children together. Idiot

    January 4, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Proud American

    Lauren honey have you ever been on a airplane?

    January 4, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. No Hillary = No Obama

    Who cares?

    January 4, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  10. melvin

    PEOPLE ARE BEGINNING TO THINK IN TALK ABOUT OBAMA BEING A REPUBLICAN ..WITH HIS APPOINTMENTS TO HIS CABINET AND HIS DECISION TO HAVE A RACIST PREACHER TALKING AT HIS SWEARING IN,ALOT OF PEOPLE ARE BEGINNING TO THINK THAT WAY

    January 4, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. yvonne

    Lauren, I think your wrong, The secret service thing is now defunct,as far as protecting x pres. Pres. Clinton was the last Pres, to get it,it is no more,as far as plane rides,gone unless he wants to ride in the planes like us retired military do,and thats only if they are going the way Bush goes.At least thats what they tell us,I don't think they get a retirement either. They've changed alot of stuff regarding this

    January 4, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  12. Boxer3

    Is this the same type of 757 Air Force jet configured as a flying office with bedroom space that is used weekly by Speaker Pelosi to fly coast to coast to her home district in San Francisco? After 9-11, previous Speaker Hastert had used a small Lear type C-20 Air Force jet. Ms Pelosi says security issues requires that her longer flight be non-stop and the more reasonably-sized C-20 would have had to stop en route to refill. Would the refueling not take place at a secure Air Force base, negating any security issue? Perhaps 'size does matter' to Speaker Pelosi.

    January 4, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  13. JM

    Texas Teacher, you are one of the most ignorant people in this country.

    January 4, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  14. alvino

    To: NO KENNEDY

    You said Harry Reid was the worst man who ever breathed. I really think you are the dumbest person who ever breathed. You probably support the Hitlers, Stalins, Jack the Ripper,and Saddam Hussein, and the other terrorists, because of their efforts on population control.

    I think I have some vegetables in the refrigerator that could score higher than you on an intelligence test.

    January 4, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. TRYING TO B OBJECTIVE

    GOOD MOVE. PE OBAMA HAS TO BE PROTECTED ALL THE TIME. WHEN HE WAS ON A REGULAR COMMERCIAL FLIGHT HE WAS PROTECTED. MANY PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY ARE NOT AWARE OF THE THREATS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE AGAINST PE OBAMA. JUST READ SOME OF THE COMMENTS ON THE BLOGS. IT IS FRIGHTENING. THERE IS SO MUCH HATRED IN THIS COUNTRY. IT IS OK TO DISAGREE BUT IT IS NOT OK TO HATE AND TRY TO DESTROY ANY HUMAN . WE CAN CHANGE WE HAVE A NEW LEADER WHO DOESN'T APPEAR TO HAVE ANY MALACE OR HATRED IN HIS HEART. LET US ALL STRIVETO PROTECT OUR NEW LEADER. HOW? BY NOT LISTENING TO RADICALS AND HATEFUL WORDS. WE CAN STOP THE HATE AND DISRESPECT BY RESPECTING OURSELVES AND NOT HATING OTHERS BECAUSE OF RELIGION, SKIN COLOR, DIFFERENT VIEWS, AND SEXUAL PREFERENCE. WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO A HIGHER POWER WHEN WE TRY TO DESTROY OTHERS W/ WORDS AND DEEDS.

    PLEASE FOLKS LETS ALL TRY TO MAKE OUR AMERICA A BETTER PLACE. IT BEGINS WITH ME AND YOU. PEACE PEACE PEACE
    WE . EW

    January 4, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. Larry j

    Give President Bush credit for the good things he did for Africa.I hope we remember him for that.

    January 4, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Bush doesn't need "Air Force One" for anything but to use up costly fuel. He hasn't done anything constructive for the country or any other country in the past 8 years but use up Air Force One fuel at our expense. To think we are still and will continue for Bush's incompetence.

    January 4, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  18. indiana voter

    @ Proud American

    You are irrelevant. Are you a Democrat with no job because you have a lot of time to type idiot comments. After all you are the biggest idiot on here.

    January 4, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  19. INDEPENDENT

    GO OBAMA - OBAMA FOR THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA!!

    January 4, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  20. Tony

    I just started to cry when I read this article. I am moved by the idea of having President Obama as my president. Someone who represents us. Someone who is smart, articulate, and actually cares.
    I can't wait until the nightmare is over.
    I am overcome with emotions.

    January 4, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  21. FreeNLovIt

    Obamas' 'haunted' hotel - legend has it from Chicago Tribune...

    Well, this can be true. A few years back, my cousins were college students in CA and they both rented an apartment. Out of the blue, she saw this guy in the mirror she has never seen before, calling her name. Her sister saw the same thing too. They immediately called their DAD, who was a pastor, over to stay with them THAT day and immediately moved out.

    In addition, their dad is a traveling pastor. One time he booked a hotel and someone in his room, started throwing his luggage around and there WAS not a SOUL in his room. He got down on his knees and prayed and it went away. Later, he found out, a young man DIED in the hotel room that he had rented.

    January 4, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. Proud American

    indiana voter = Oh honey I'm a Democrat (proud of it) a Sr. Manager at a major defense contractor. I know my well over 6 figure income profession is no match for your job at 7-Eleven, not everyone is cut out to run the Surplee Machine. Honey I will spend everyday of the rest of my life trying to be like you and accomplish everything you have. Goodnite little Idiot.

    January 4, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  23. Bill Charlotte,NC

    WELCOME ABOARD! For God's sake hurry up and get to Washington!

    January 4, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  24. Proud American

    For the life of me I cannot understand why Idiot Republican Loser continue to attack me. All I've ever tried to do was get alone with these people. I love everyone, yes including losers. Republicans please stop the hate and stop trying to place the blame on Democrats, for your being dumb, stupid and not being able to govern yourself out of a paper bag. Thank God with the rest of use for Jan. 20th at Noon. We do love you.

    January 4, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  25. Debby

    Who cares, he flew the campaign jet when he took family and friends on his second vacation to Hawaii. When Obama takes office and actually starts doing something for this country then this ticker will be an interesting read.

    January 4, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
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