High Cost of VIP Travel: Biden's $665,545 Hotel Bill in Moscow, Obama's $450,000 Warsaw Tab
In Copenhagen, $430,285.70 for hotel and $200,629 for limousines.
9:53 AM, Jun 29, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
Details of an earlier presidential trip to Prague in 2010 are also available. At $163,000, the Prague contract with Marriott initially appears to be a bargain compared to other trips. However, a closer look shows that the Marriott was being used "simultaneously with the Hotel Hilton (which was the main hotel for the event...)" The J&A for the Marriott was for only 287 nights (with more than 40 late check-out fees), but also included rentals of three plasma TVs, a pin-board, and a FAX machine:
Lodging and transportation costs for First Lady Michelle Obama's ill-fated trip to Copenhagen in 2009 to bolster Chicago's bid to host the Olympics were found online as well. The costs for this trip have already garnered some attention after it took the State Department 26 months to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch. While the documentation finally released to Judicial Watch was fairly extensive, it turns out at least some of the information was posted at FBO.GOV as early as November 25, 2009. According to the J&A (Justification and Approval), the estimated cost for 103 rooms at the Scandic Copenhagen hotel was $430,285.70:
On January 19, 2010, a contract for the same trip was posted for vehicles & buses provided by Copenhagen Limousine Service for $200,629. According to the J&A, the trip included a possible visit from the president as well. The document also includes some interesting insights about the scheduling of such trips and the security-related restrictions (and related increased costs) that are imposed in these cases:
The president did end up traveling to Copenhagen to join his wife in her efforts and to address the International Olympic Committee, but arrived in Copenhagen and returned to Washington on the same day, Friday, October 2, 2009. The first lady spent two nights in Copenhagen, arriving on Wednesday of that week and departing to Washington with her husband on Friday.
Recent Blog Posts