Outgoing president Donald Trump has left the Washington area onboard Air Force One. The Boeing 747-based VC-25A is ferrying him to Florida, and is scheduled to arrive just an hour before he loses the right to use the plane. Conversely, America’s 46th president, Joe Biden, arrived yesterday in Washington on something a little bit smaller – a Boeing 737.
Trump leaves on Air Force One
Air Force One has lifted off with President Donald Trump onboard for one last time. The 45th US president left the Washington area around an hour ago, bound for his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. For the journey, he seconded one of the Boeing 747-based VC 25As, rolling away to the sound of Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way.’
"My Way" by Frank Sinatra blares out of the sound system as Donald Trump leaves Washington on board Air Force One.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) January 20, 2021
It was unusual to see an outgoing president using the iconic modified Boeing 747 for his departure. In the past, former presidents have usually vacated Washington on another government jet. However, as he is still formally president until noon today, he had the right to use the baby blue VC-25 for his departure.
Interestingly, had Trump’s journey taken him beyond the time of 12 noon today, the flight would have had to drop the ‘Air Force One’ tag as it would no longer be carrying the current President. As it is, it seems he timed his trip perfectly, with arrival scheduled at 11:00 into West Palm Beach.
President Trump is now scheduled to land in West Palm Beach, FL at 11am Wednesday morning with just 1 hour left in his Presidency. He no longer has access to Air Force One as of noon that day.
— Ben Tracy (@benstracy) January 17, 2021
The outgoing President’s final day was a busy affair, with more than one flight involved. At 08:20 this morning, the president and first lady emerged from the White House to board Marine One. Like Air Force One, Marine One can be any helicopter carrying the president onboard, but is usually either the large Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King or the newer, smaller VH-60N “White Hawk.”
— CNN (@CNN) January 20, 2021
For his rotary flight, Trump also went big, flying the Sea King for the short trip to Joint Base Andrews. There, the Trumps held a brief departure ceremony before boarding the Boeing for their final flight as the first family. Leaving prior to Biden’s inauguration makes Trump the first president in a century to fail to hang around to welcome his successor.
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Biden arrived in something a bit smaller
Yesterday, Joe Biden departed Wilmington, Delaware, ahead of his inauguration today. While the 30-minute flight would have been more climate-friendly if conducted by more ground-based means, security concerns meant that air transport was recommended. Indeed, Biden himself wished to travel to Washington by Amtrak, but this plan was nixed by his security advisors.
However, instead of arriving on a government aircraft, Biden made the trip in a somewhat smaller 737. Although it would have been unlikely to see the VC-25 taking this short hop, in the past, incoming presidents have been offered the use of the Boeing 757-based ‘Air Force Two’ plane, the C-32, as used by Pence during last year’s campaign trail.
Next stop: Washington, D.C. pic.twitter.com/oW0C4LQVBf
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 19, 2021
Nevertheless, Biden did not fail to travel in style. The Boeing 737 chartered for his trip was one of two Boeing Business Jets managed by Jet Edge, a leasing company that, yes, you too can rent a plane from! N934BZ is a 16-passenger luxury jet outfitted to the highest of standards. There’s a lounge with two couches, several seating areas, and a conference table for up to nine people.
A bit more luxury than a normal Boeing 737 pic.twitter.com/filDflEjMG
— Tony 💙 (@ThisIsTonyE) January 19, 2021
— Solarisfire (@solarisfire) January 19, 2021
While Biden’s flight was too short to really make much of the facilities onboard, it looks like a top way to spend a few hours. If you’re interested (and have deep pockets), you can relive Biden’s journey for around $12,000 to $20,000 per hour.