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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/04/art.getty.air.force.two.jpg caption="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. Deborah

    God Bless America and God Bless our President-elect.

    May God forgive President George W. Bush and what he and his cronies have done to this great country of ours. How they can sleep at night is a wonder to me....

    January 4, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. Jerry

    For whatever reason I've never read these postings before this afternoon. I'm amazed at the virulence and the negativity. What happened to discussion? I feel the Limbaugh effect–it's perfectly OK to trash your opponent if it helps you win points–has taken over. Sorry to interupt a good exercise in poor grammar and poor judgement, but take a deep breath and relax, as I won't be doing it again.

    January 4, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  3. Willy Brown

    Guess there a smoking section in the back by the bathroom for resident select Osama.

    January 4, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  4. bye bye Bush

    please leave, done with you, would have liked you to have never been president, you have done a lot of damage to this country and hope you will not be heard from again, but we I'm sure are not that lucky

    January 4, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. Ken in NC

    President Bush will soon become the next President of Africa as he did more for Africa than he did for the USA.

    @ Yvonne
    When the President leaves office he still carries his Secret Service Protection on a reduced scale except when he leaves the United States because of the Secret information he has had privy to over the years. He also still has his $200,000.00 a year retirement. A former President will only fly on a US Air Force Plane when the sitting President sends him to act in an official capacity of the Administration.

    January 4, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. SMR

    Time to be safe PE, There is alot of crazies out there!!!

    January 4, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. Proud American

    I just heard on Foxx News that Bush and Cheney will not be allowed on Air Force Planes when they leave Washington. Instead both will be given a 2 block head start and then 4 Pit Bulls chase them out. Only pay preview will carry their departure.

    January 4, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  8. indiana voter

    @Proud American

    You don't love everyone. You lie in you own posts and have the nerve to call Republicans idiots when you are the biggest.

    January 4, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  9. Pennie Johnson

    Everybody just take a deep breath and exhale...it's almost over. I don't care what any of the Bushes do or better yet, don't do. I just don't want any of them NEAR Washington after Jan.20th!!!

    January 4, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  10. Marie,San Diego

    To Nganga of Austin TX:

    The same concept when the Blair house is not available for the Obamas. Until now, I'm still wondering who are these so-called "visitors" currently occupying the Blair house. Perhaps, the Enquirer will find out for us.

    January 4, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  11. Meka

    @ the reality...

    Your exactly right. And, with the un-conditional support that we give Isreal, we can expect ADDITIONAL PROBLEMS. Isreal has kept the "Palistein People Oppressed" far too long. America should remember the Civil War, and the 60's . . . when my people were Oppressed.

    That Region, is controlled by Isreal . . . And WHAT CLAIM did the US make, when we went into IRAQ ?

    January 4, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  12. Proud American

    indiana voter = Your starting to really hurt my feeling. Before you crawl into your uncles bed tonight you should get on your knees and ask God to forgive you. And I do really love you, I'm having a party on Jan. 20th starting at Noon, and your invited honey just don't bring everyone in your double wide.

    January 4, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  13. Melissa

    The hatred being shown on here is astounding me.

    This man is the man that is going to lead us for the next 4 years so you people need to just bloody well deal with it instead of constantly wallowing in your loathing.

    He's doing the right thing. As the first black President, never mind the Democrat President thats taken over after some of the worst 8 years in the last century, his life is a very large amount of danger. I'm glad he's taking care of it. I'm glad the gvt is paying attention.

    January 4, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  14. TCM

    Hahaha....Proud American, I saw done the blog where you were bragging about a 6 figure income at a defense contractor? Well, son, you aren't supposed to count the two places BEHIND the decimal point.! Silly angry lib!

    January 4, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  15. bk

    It was bad enough when you voted in Bush twice. Now you vote in a man that has absoulutely no experience and expect miracles. What world do you people live in? Fantasy world? The man can't make a decision. I predict another Jimmy Carter.

    January 4, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  16. James



    What is with people who have their #$%ing caps lock on? There's always one, and it says: "I am a stupid idiot."

    January 4, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  17. Richard

    Proud Americam-
    If you wrew working you'll be fired by NOW go back to school your grammer SUCK

    January 4, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. Jane Klein

    Just cant believe how bitter all the Republicans are. You have had eight yeras to set things right- it will certainly take 8 more to undo at least part of your mess. Good riddance.
    Go Obama.

    January 4, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  19. Big V

    What else can my wife and I ask for on our birthday as we both will be celebrating on Jan 20th alonf with the whole nation. Hail to the new chief!

    January 4, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  20. Miro, MI

    People, slow down!
    A President of United States arrived to DC just a few minutes ago!!!!!

    January 4, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  21. casper

    good luck to you mr. pe Obama, i hope all your flights will be smooth.

    January 4, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  22. bringing everyone in the double wide

    can I come too? that party sounds nice

    very funny comment from you before:
    I just heard on Foxx News that Bush and Cheney will not be allowed on Air Force Planes when they leave Washington. Instead both will be given a 2 block head start and then 4 Pit Bulls chase them out. Only pay preview will carry their departure.

    I have money on Cheney as I expect him to use Bush as a sheild to keep the pit bulls at bay

    January 4, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  23. GK-Canada

    Mr. President Elect
    I am a Canadian and an outsider looking in. I can say as an ordinary citizen that your victory will be most welcomed all over the world. Well done and the very best in all your efforts. I am also a First Nations Person, and will ask you, with Respect: What are your views on Native Americans? Thank You in advance, GK

    January 4, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  24. Mac

    Proud American – Anyone who reads these blogs knows that you are full of hate and don't love anyone that thinks differently than you. Stop trying to be so pious and re-read some of your own posts.

    As far as Obama getting his plane that is standard protocol. Good luck to him and America in the next 4 years. I didn't vote for him but I sure hope he knows what he is doing.


    January 4, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  25. Jon

    Why does President Elect Osama think that he is President already? He should have flown coach to DC like any other private citizen. And what's with him giving a weekly radio address? That's something the real President does. I glad to see that his extensive Cabinet screening process has worked so well. One down, many to go. Background checks were invented for a reason. My guess is that Rahm will be the next to go after some new tapes from Chicago come out. Here's hoping for a quick four years of socialist rule.

    January 4, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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