Are the president and vice president allowed to fly together? This is a question that many Americans want an honest answer to instead of half-truths or myths.
The President and Vice President are generally not allowed to fly together. Although the President and Vice President often appear at the same events, they will take different aircraft to reach their destinations.
The rule against the President and Vice President flying together has become informally known as The Johnson Rule, named after President Lyndon B. Johnson. Read on to learn more about the President and Vice President flying together.
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Are the President and Vice President Allowed to Fly Together? When Can They Do This?
The President and Vice President do not fly together.
Presidents can authorize staff and other officials to travel on the same flight for non-political purposes. The person traveling with the President cannot benefit from the travel in any way.
What Activities Are Permissable for Presidents and Vice Presidents to Share?
The Vice President may travel with the President on official travel at the President’s invitation in the respective Vice Presidential and Presidential Aircraft. This is typical when both leaders go to a different state or country.
Homecoming Flights to States
When a President makes a “homecoming” visit to their home state, they may invite the Vice President. If the President is from one state and the Vice President from another, this is a common reason for the Vice President to accompany the President, despite the arrival in separate aircraft.
States With No Vice Presidential Ties
The Vice President usually doesn’t come if the President is visiting a location without previous personal connections. However, a visit to the hometown or state or the President’s family may involve both leaders traveling together.
Are the President and Vice President Traveling Together During Public Appearances?
Although the President and Vice President often appear in public together when traveling, they will arrive on different planes. Each leader has a different schedule that only requires being together sometimes.
Some of the settings where Presidents and Vice Presidents may appear together on TV include:
- Political campaign commercials
- Important speeches
- During live interviews
Because both leaders are so high-profile, appearing together can help boost the cause they support. However, because of the types of schedules involved, joint travel is optional for an appearance together.
Sometimes the President and Vice President share news of each others’ activities on social media. These updates are helpful for social media users who may follow one leader but not the other.
Why Are the President and Vice President in Different Places?
Sometimes, the President and Vice President travel together to different locations for a common goal. Examples might include foreign policy meetings or state visits, such as the Vice President attending a summit on the President’s behalf while the President visits a different country.
Vice Presidents play an essential role in running the country in their own right. Sometimes the Vice President takes a lead role in enacting part of the President’s agenda, which may involve joint appearances.
When a President cannot attend an international event, the Vice President may appear on their behalf. Sometimes, a Vice President may act in this capacity for more local events, such as awards ceremonies, sporting events, and parades.
Is There More Than One Plane Called Air Force One?
It’s easy for us to think of Air Force One as a specific plane or set of planes. However, Air Force One is a radio call that refers to any aircraft the current President flies in.
The military has two specific planes that operate under the Air Force One call sign. Of the two planes, one is always ready to fly.
Air Force One contains a mobile command center. All communications equipment is secure, and the electronics are designed to resist an electromagnetic pulse.
What Plane Does the Vice President Usually Fly In?
The plane called Air Force Two transports the Vice President, absent any special authorization for the Vice President to accompany the President on Air Force One. This plane is similar to Air Force One.
As with Air Force One, Air Force Two is also a call sign. Under most circumstances, the President and Vice President will not usually fly together for security reasons.
Air Force Two can also transport Vice Presidents’ spouses. For example, Doug Emhoff, Vice President Kamala Harris’ husband, has flown on Air Force Two with his wife.
Air Force Two has frequently been the site of press gaggles or informal briefings. The plane has 32 seats set aside for members of the press.
Why Don’t the President and Vice President Take the Same Plane?
A 2010 plane crash in Poland that killed the country’s president and several high-ranking government members raised questions about whether something similar could happen in the U.S. However, such a situation is highly unlikely to occur in the U.S.
With few exceptions, the President and Vice President will always be on different planes. One of the reasons for having the two leaders travel on separate aircraft is to prevent a situation like what happened in Poland.
Since 9/11, members of the presidential line of succession sometimes stay away from the same events where the President is present. Going to and from destinations on separate aircraft helps reduce the chances of the President and Vice President becoming killed or incapacitated at the same time.
Have a President and Vice President Flown Together Recently?
In March 2021, an image circulated on social media sites claiming that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took the same flight to Georgia. A photo that showed both leaders descending the steps of Air Force One was cited as evidence that they flew together.
However, fact-checkers found that the caption did not accurately describe the circumstances. The President and Vice President both traveled to Georgia to address a recent hate attack that targeted members of the Asian American community.
Although both leaders were on Air Force One, they were on the plane together for a brief meeting after the aircraft landed. Pool dispatches from journalists present confirmed that Biden and Harris arrived on separate planes.
Does the Vice President have their own plane in the United States?
The Vice President has a plane, titled Air Force Two, that has many of the same features as Air Force One. Although given the Air Force Two call sign only when the Vice President is aboard, this plane has also transported the First Lady and the Secretary of State.
This aircraft features an enclosed stateroom, a communications center, a lavatory, and a galley. There is also a conference and staff facility with 32 business class seats, as well as a restroom and a galley.
Does the President fly in their plane alone?
The President will not customarily fly with the Vic President while in office. However, that does not mean that the President travels without essential staff.
A presidential entourage usually includes:
– Domestic, economic or national security advisors
– The protective press pool (containing 13 members)
What is Air Force One called if the Vice President is on board?
The Vice President does not usually fly on Air Force One, which would present a security risk. However, the Vice President uses a plane that goes by the call sign Air Force Two.
Are the President and Vice President allowed to fly together? Although not customarily permitted to fly together, the President and Vice President can fly to the same location separately.