President Barack Obama stepped off Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews after his last flight on the presidential aircraft as president last Wednesday. The plane goes by the call sign “Air Force One” whenever the sitting president is on board.
With his last trip aboard the jet – a roundtrip from Washington DC to Chicago – the President has spent 2,799 hours and six minutes flying aboard an aircraft with the Air Force One callsign. Those flight hours, equal up to just over 116 days, were made up of 445 missions and included destinations in 56 countries and 49 states. Some of those trips were routine, some were historic and some even ended comedic.
Before the flight to Chicago, Obama spent time with the members of the Presidential Airlift Group, the Air Force personnel who take care of Air Force One.
Just last October, as Obama’s second term was drawing to a close, the President said the following when discussing new rules to protect airline flyers: “I’m going to be honest with you – one of the best parts of being president is having your own plane. And I’m going to miss it a lot…Because up until I ran for this office, I was mostly flying coach. So I know what a pain the whole process can be – from searching for the best prices to that feeling you get when the baggage carousel stops and yours still hasn’t come out.”
Like many of the Presidents before him, Obama has made numerous comments about his affinity for Air Force One, which started after his very first flight aboard back in early 2009. After which he stated with a big smile “It’s pretty nice!”
The Obamas will return to Washington D.C. after their vacation, where they plan to live in a rented home while their daughter finishes school.