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Fly the Nightmarish Skies
Author: TriSec    Date: 05/25/2019 10:08:35

Good Morning.

Well - at least this isn't about the Max-8 or the F-35!

If you travel a lot, you've probably done it. While sitting in the departure lounge at the airport, after disrobing to merely enter the building, you'll see that Cessna Citation V taxi past with it's high-rollers on board. What's it like to travel by private jet?


The Office of the President comes with the greatest perk of all; access to the greatest private jet of all time. The VC-25A is a mostly luxuriously equipped Boeing 747-200.

Up until just a few years ago, travelling with the President used to be a coveted assignment for any Washington reporter. But like everything Trump touches, he's fucked that up, too.

It's a lengthy article from CNN, so I'll pick and choose below. I've made just one long-distance flight in my life (literally halfway around the world.) That was hard enough with several screaming babies on board (including my own). What must it be like with the current resident of the White House?


President Donald Trump's visit to Tokyo this weekend kicks off a summer of global jet-setting that takes him to five separate countries -- and confines him to the presidential aircraft for more than 80 hours flying overseas.

Not always an eager traveler, Trump has complained in the past about the pace of his foreign travel or the accommodations arranged for him abroad. It's his aides, however, who sometimes dread boarding Air Force One for a lengthy flight overseas, knowing full well the boss will make little use of the bed wedged into the nose of the plane.

"It's like being held captive," one official said of traveling with the President on Air Force One.



When Trump first took office, staffers clamored to travel on overseas trips. But now, in the third year of his presidency, several officials said they do their best to avoid staffing the trips because of the chaotic nature that typically accompanies them.

During international flights, Trump typically remains in the front cabin. He does four things, the current and former aides said: eats, watches television or reads newspapers, talks with staff and calls friends and allies back home as he zips away into foreign skies.

Trump will spend hours reviewing cable news coverage recorded on a TiVo-like device or sifting through cardboard boxes of newspapers and magazines that have been lugged aboard. He'll summon sleeping staffers to his office at moments the rest of the plane is dark, impatient to discuss his upcoming meetings or devise a response to something he saw in the media.

Trump has long insisted that he is treated unfairly by the news media, and if he sees something on television that bothers him -- "which he invariably will," one official quipped -- he instructs his staff to fix it, no matter if they are at the White House or flying over the Atlantic Ocean. Often, instead of looking over his remarks for upcoming bilateral meetings or paging through a briefing book, the President will fixate on the negative headline that day, griping that none of his predecessors has been through such treatment.


But how's this for the most disturbing? President Bush the elder would famously board AF One before departing on a lengthy trip, and he had the uncanny ability to remain asleep in the Presidential cabin throughout startup and departure. Trump, though...


Once, when a staffer went to catch a few hours of shut-eye before landing, the President sent another aide to come wake them so he could discuss a matter that was on his mind.
"He will not go to sleep," said one person.

Trump has taken a sleeping pill occasionally, his doctor told reporters last year. But he never sleeps much -- four or five hours per night at the White House -- and sleeps even less on his plane, according to people who travel with him. Instead, he will hold court for hours on end, despite staffers encouraging him to join first lady Melania Trump in the private cabin and get some rest. And the chit chat is not always business -- the President will quiz staffers about sports or catch up on gossip.

In any administration, long overseas trips are arduous undertakings that often require long jet-lagged hours with little sleep. Aside from the President's own bedroom, Air Force One is not fitted with the type of lie-flat seats that are now commonplace in commercial business classes.


International travel is hard enough. Couple that with a jet-lagged and sleep-deprived President and staff, and small wonder all foreign trips devolve into chaos.

But I'm a little alarmed by the snippet that the President will take a sleeping pill occasionally. That's never a sign of a healthy lifestyle, and of course I will go Godwin here. You know who else was a megalomaniac with sleep problems, and eventually wound up addicted to amphetamines, barbiturates and opiates?

Yeah, this isn't going to end well.


 

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