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Press Release


President’s Euro-Trip Flights Cost Over $6.6 Million, Most Internationally Traveled over First 5 Years

For Immediate Release March 24, 2014
Douglas Kellogg, (703) 683-5700

(Alexandria, VA) -- A new update from National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) to their study of Presidential travel reveals Barack Obama is the most internationally traveled President over the first five years of a Presidency – NTUF also estimated the cost just for flying Air Force One during Obama’s March 24-28 trip to Europe and the Middle East would total $6.6 million. 

According to NTUF’s analysis, the President’s rapid-fire trip to the Netherlands, Belgium, Vatican City, Italy, and Saudi Arabia will rack up $6,620,352 in operating costs based on a $228,288 per flight hour cost estimate (recently obtained by the Washington Examiner). This is a 27 percent increase from the last cost-per-hour rate provided by the Air Force.

NTUF also reviewed the President’s time spent abroad after his fifth year in office, discovering that President Obama has taken more trips – and spent more days – abroad than any other President during the first five years in office. Obama has tallied 119 days overseas, on 31 trips.

These numbers exceed other multi-term Presidents, including George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, who follow closely behind Obama with 116 and 113 days abroad respectively.

Presidents’ International Travel After Five Years
President Trips Visits Days Average Days
Abroad per Trip
Eisenhower 8 8 31 3.9
Johnson 10 21 34 3.4
Nixon 12 32 60 5.0
Reagan 14 30 73 5.2
Clinton 27 68 113 4.2
Bush, G.W. 28 76 116 4.1
Obama 31 63 119 3.8

“Our latest update confirms the costs associated with Presidential travel are growing as the President takes more frequent, shorter, trips on an airplane that is costing more and more to operate,” said the study’s author NTUF Policy Analyst Michael Tasselmyer. “Certainly international diplomacy is a very important duty of the President, yet taxpayers footing the bill deserve access to as much information as possible to inform the discussion on costs and benefits for our Chief Executive.”