Inferior Food On Air Force 2 Stirs Up Tensions With Kamala Harris' Staff

A former Air Force One staffer revealed to Politico last week that their dining bills added up to about $1,000 a year. Yes, they paid for each of their own meals during their flight time. One would imagine that being a part of the group that accompanies the president would come with great luxuries, and at times it really does, but in-air food is a service you have to cover yourself. Whether it's a short and sweet flight or one that lasts over 12 hours, all of the staffers are required to buy their own dishes. And while the more established White House staffers won't break a sweat paying for an occasional meal, the entry-level staffers might find themselves struggling.

The Biden staffer even mentioned having to pay for a filet mignon on a flight, which is one of the finest cuts of meat, but a bit hard on the budget of a lower-paid government worker. In fact, some White House entry-level assistants make around $47,000 annually, which is well below the median income in the D.C. area. Filet mignon on a salary that low is not a sustainable way to live. 

While this inside scoop was framed as a mild complaint, Vice President Kamala Harris' staff were aghast at the discrepancies in their meal options. After hearing about filet mignon and cold beer being served on Air Force One, Air Force Two staffers expressed displeasure at how unappetizing and drab their meals looked in comparison.

Free sandwiches for the Air Force 2 staff

According to Politico, Kamala Harris' staff does not have fine dining options in-flight. In fact, they usually have no say in what they get to eat — it's either opt-in or opt-out. According to Politico, the caveat is that these meals are completely free, although many prefer to skip the soggy sandwiches provided — often in brown bags. The dining options for Harris' staff have allegedly been so limited that the staffers can guess what breakfast they'll be served (usually an egg and spinach burrito). There's even been a campaign to bring in their favorite breakfast item, a breakfast pizza. Despite these efforts, a number of Air Force Two staffers submitted to bringing their own packed lunch instead.

Upon hearing that Biden's staff had Philly cheesesteaks and filet mignon, Air Force Two staffers were not happy. But the grass is always greener on the other side: Air Force One staffers cannot bring their own lunch even if they want to. They also aren't made aware of what lunches will be served on flights, which means that there is no way to financially plan around the meals. So even if Air Force One staff have fine dining options, they are made to pay a handsome sum for the privilege. It seems that there should be a middle ground between the exorbitant, extravagant meals served to Biden's staff and the reported "slop" served to Harris' team.