From Mike Allen at Politico — Since I’m anything but a fan of Patrick “Leaky” Leahy, this would put me over the edge if I was one of the people rotting in line waiting for takeoff yesterday at O’Hare:
A Democratic congressional staffer e-mails: â€œOn a plane from O’Hare to DCA [yesterday] that was already delayed 1 hour… rolled out of the gate and then stopped while trying to get on the runway. The pilot came on and said there were 30 planes ahead of us and we were going to power down for 30 min and wait in line. The seatbelt sign was turned off and passengers walked about. One of the passengers, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, walked to the back of the plane. 5 minutes later the pilot came on the loud speaker and said, â€˜folks we’ve been given the go ahead to take off.â€™ As Leahy walked backed to his seat someone said â€˜thanks Senator!â€™ to which he replied â€˜the pilot said he’d do his best.â€™ Chairman Leahy rules!â€
Is there an FAA reg that says members of Congress can get tower approval to cut in line? This seems strange, but not all that surprising.
I’m sure the people on that particular plane weren’t disappointed, but I wish I’d have been working in the tower: “Request denied — tell the Senator we’re in no rush to get him back to DC so he can resume screwing us. He’ll wait his turn like the rest of the serfs, and the longer the better.”