For New Transportation Secretary, United Airlines Gate B5 At Chicago O’Hare Will Always Be Special

President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Transportation Secretary, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, has no particular experience in transportation policy or running a large bureaucracy, but he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night propose to his husband at Chicago O’Hare.

Then again during the Republican primaries for the 2012 election Texas Governor Rick Perry couldn’t remember that he wanted to eliminate the Department of Energy, and didn’t know what the agency actually did before he was appointed to run it, so…

Buttigieg’s husband took to twitter to identify where it was at O’Hare that Mayor Pete proposed, a story that was also in the former South Bend, Indiana Mayor’s memoir.

O’Hare has already updated its Twitter account accordingly,

And the airport tweeted out this pun:

United Airlines is sucking up to their new regulator as well.

But according to the Transportation Secretary nominee’s memoir he didn’t actually propose in the airport because of any special affinity for travel. His husband was waiting for a flight out of gate B5 when they first connected on a dating app, so proposing against the window behind the airline desk at that gate brought their relationship back to where it started.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Maybe he has no particular transportation expertise, but it will be an improvement over the recent practice of getting people to lead organizations that they have been openly hostile to, prior to their appointment

  2. There’s a long history of stuffing marginally qualified (at best) political elites into lesser Cabinet positions like Transportation Secretary. It’s a shame, because our country would obviously be better off if the Secretary of Transportation was an expert in the field. Buttigieg’s main qualifications seem to be that he’s a well-spoken gay man who appeals to the Progressive faithful. He will undoubtedly do better wasting money on pie-in-the-sky “green” transportation projects than in overseeing the airline industry. But I doubt the average airline or consumer will suffer much from his likely lack of practical or visionary leadership.

  3. Even though I am a strong Biden/Buttigieg supporter, I am forced to agree with chopsticks remarks. Tre Transportation Secretary should be someone with expertise and a history in that field.
    This was clearly a political appointment and I am disappointed in President-Elect Biden.

  4. After proposing, did the engaged couple go into the bathroom at O’Hare and have their honeymoon? One stall or two?

  5. This is the problem with the left. They are soo focused on having “the most diverse cabinet” that we are getting people with absolutely no experience in some of these agencies. Given the shape the country is in it would be nice if the best qualified people were selected not selections to mollify the extreme left base, which is going to complain no matter what Biden does.

  6. Good grief…..the epitome of a person with absolutely zero qualifications being placed in a key job. Anyone in the business should be horrified. His only exposure to managing a transportation enterprise was the non consequential public bus system in South Bend, a city that was an absolute train wreck after he left thanks to his incompetent administration. Oh yes, incredible the post by ORD.
    To quote an infamous line from Animal House…..
    “A new low!!!”

  7. I really don’t know much about Mayor Pete, but he came across a a fairly competent guy. Learning he proposed at O’Hare makes me question his decision making, though. Also, how bad was his husband’s last name if he agreed to change it to Buttigieg?

  8. As a supporter of Mayor Pete’s run for President since the beginning (I still can’t bear to remove the campaign stickers from my Rimowa) I think Gary and most of you underestimate his abilities and genius. He is not only a political prodigy – but a fine person. I have no doubt that we will see dramatic improvements in infrastructure that will be well received and much needed.

    If he can teach himself Norwegian in a few months just to read a book by his favorite author in its native language, I am sure he will easily hit the ground running with a strong understanding of the job and what’s needed.

  9. Before you all get off on his lack of transportation experience, take a top to bottom look at Trump’s cabinet, his replacement cabinet, and the last replacement cabinet. Also, enough criminals in it, to fill up a prison.

  10. No need to hassle sweet Pete. Haven’t you noticed? Experience no longer matters. Even Biden and Harris named people of the year before they even started their term of office. And I thought maybe a health care worker or first responder might get recognized. Silly me.

  11. For those complaining about Pete Buttigieg, what is the fuss? I consider this normal, given how HUD is currently headed by Ben Carson, and Energy was headed by Perry, who’s statement was to abolish the DoE. Oh, and let’s not forget Betsy DeVos… her sterling experience in education prior to heading the department, oh wait, never mind. She has none.

  12. @Alan. Biden already has a scandal and is not in office yet. Does any one really beleive Joe has not been doing favors for China and Ukraine after they gave zero experience Hunter millions of dollars. Hunter is on tape saying he wouldn’t have received support from those countries if Joe wasn’t his Dad. It doesn’t take much to connect the dots and see the corruption.

  13. Hey everyone, here’s an idea: declare Hunter Biden as head of the US Treasury department AND the Federal Reserve. Then turn him loose to bribe and buy the USA back to top of the global influence standings. Sweet Pete can let Hunter commandeer any airline or plane to jet around to the bars and casinos or the world.

  14. @Bill You had to make it divisive, didn’t you?

    > “This is the problem with the left. They are soo focused on having “the most diverse cabinet” that we are getting people with absolutely no experience in some of these agencies.”

    Maybe they should have followed the right. They are so focused on getting crony yes-people that they installed someone whose only experience was as a failed U.S. Labor Secretary, one already “widely criticized for walking away from its regulatory function across a range of issues, including wage and hour law and workplace safety”.


  15. I’m assuming those criticizing Hunter Biden here will also willingly come out and criticize Trump and his cronies personally enriching themselves from his presidency.

    We will be learning about Agent Oranges’s graft for years.

  16. @UA-NYC The way Trump chooses to make money is not near as shady as what is going on with the Biden’s receiving money from other countries. I would think even people on the far left have to wonder why the Chinese and Ukraine gave Millions to Hunter when he does not have experience or anything to give them in return other than access to his father.

  17. @Jase – don’t embarrass yourself…Trump came into office as the most corrupt president-elect ever, his orbit continued the graft during, and he will now be rightly investigated at both the federal and state levels.

    Hunter Biden is a nothing-burger…GMAB.

  18. All the complainers here….like Elaine Chao has not done anything remarkable in her 4 years as Secretary of Trans. Chao did even less in her 8 years as Labor Secretary for Bush 44. Please save your Hunter Biden BS for your private sphere of influence. Most of us are not as ignorant as you!

Comments are closed.