America's independent, non-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers.


Blog Contributors

Brandon Arnold
Vice President of Government Affairs 

Dan Barrett
Research and Outreach Manager 

Melodie Bowler
Government Affairs Intern 

Demian Brady
Director of Research 

Christina DiSomma
Communications Intern 

Jihun Han
Communications Intern 

Timothy Howland
Creative Content Manager 

Samantha Jordan
Communications Intern 

Curtis Kalin
Communications Intern 

Ross Kaminsky
Blog Contributor 

David Keating
Blog Contributor 

Douglas Kellogg
Communications Manager 

Sharon Koss
Government Affairs Intern 

Michael Liguori
Government Affairs Intern 

Richard Lipman
Director of Development 

Joe Michalowski
Government Affairs Intern 

Diana Oprinescu
Communications Intern 

Austin Peters
Communications Intern 

Kristina Rasmussen
Blog Contributor 

Obama's Canceled Asia Trip Saves Taxpayers $8.4 Million

Michael Tasselmyer
October 4, 2013

In the wake of the government's shutdown, the White House announced on Thursday that President Obama would no longer be traveling to Asia this week.

The trip, which was scheduled to begin today and last through October 12, would have taken the President to two regional conferences (the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and the East Asia Summit) and four different countries, including Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Phillippines. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney cited "the difficulty in moving forward with foreign travel in the face of a shutdown" as the primary reason for cancelling the trip.

The full extent of what that trip may have cost U.S. taxpayers remains unknown. However, NTUF was able to compile a partial estimate consisting of the cost to fly Air Force One from Washington, D.C. to the countries President Obama had planned to visit.

Flight Time (hours)
Washington, D.C. to Jakarta, Indonesia 20.83
Jakarta, Indonesia to Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei 2.38
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2.35
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Manila, Phillippines 3.57
Manila, Phillippines to Washington, D.C. 17.65
Total Flight Time: 46.78
Cost Per Flight Hour: $179,750
Total Cost:  $8,408,705

Flight times were estimated via The $179,750 cost per flight hour reflects the latest figure given to the Congressional Research Service (CRS) by the U.S. Air Force.

It should be noted that these estimates do not take into account any refueling stops, additional aircraft support, cargo transport, hotel and lodging costs, or any of the other myriad security and logistical measures taken anytime a President travels abroad. Many of these costs are unknown but are estimated to amount to tens of millions of dollars, in some instances.

For more on what it takes to move the President overseas, as well as the general lack of transparency when it comes to those costs, check out NTUF's latest study on Presidential Travel, "Up In The Air".


Comment on this blog

Enter this word:

User Comments