U.S. Drug Czar Refuses To Fly Southwest Airlines

The U.S. Drug Czar Rahul Gupta is being slammed as “egocentric” and a “primma donna” who creates a “toxic work environment.” Most striking is that he’ll blow up months of work on a trip when he learns that he’d have to fly Southwest Airlines.

The trips, the former and current officials said, often centered around Gupta rather than the work ONDCP was doing. He expected Cabinet-level treatment when traveling and would blow up plans when staff couldn’t deliver.

He canceled one trip last year, after months of planning, because he didn’t want to fly Southwest Airlines, the officials said.

He also once calculated the square-footage of a hotel room, and then requested staff book him a larger room. And he liked to roll up to events — including weekend embassy parties — in a black government SUV with staff, even though that sort of service is not typically used by ONDCP directors for events unrelated to the office’s direct work.

In contrast, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen flies coach even though taxpayers would get better value out of the increased work productivity that would come from a premium cabin seat.

The former Federal Reserve chair who is known for showing up hours early to the airport to avoid missing flights, and to be at the gate early enough to ensure overhead bin space, would probably benefit from flying private.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy leads a small agency that is required by law to oppose any attempt to legalize use of drugs in any form, including by paying television and movie studios to include anti-drug messages and reviewing and signing off on scripts (and influencing changes to scripts). They’ve also produced news packages for local television propagandizing on drugs without disclosure that they were produced by the government.

Perhaps the Drug Czar should be required to fly Allegiant?

(HT: @crucker)

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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 »

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  1. Gene – For what it is worth – I am 75, my wife passed away from cancer. I’ve decided to remain single. I am not shocked at your insulting comment, for insults are all you have…

  2. @Name Withheld

    More peaceful than a blm riot.
    Only violence came from the cops that murdered an unarmed woman.

    Jan 6th will be view as American Bastille day in the history books.

  3. @AndyS – You may need to hear this:

    “False equivalence is a logical fallacy in which an equivalence is drawn between two subjects based on flawed or false reasoning. This fallacy is categorized as a “fallacy of inconsistency”. Colloquially, a false equivalence is often called “comparing apples and oranges.””

    Any riot in the USA, no matter how violent, does not in any way compare with an attack on the Capitol.

    And if this does not make sense to you, ok. Belive what you will.

    Please act on your belief in November. I strongly recommend it.

    You will be surprised, again, that you are in the minority.

  4. @AndyS – one last comment:

    If you see the attempt to overthrow the election as “Bastile Day”, then why did the senators and congressman not welcome the MAGA Mob with open arms?

    In your story, the Mob was liberators of opperessed prisoners… but yet all the elected officials fled, hid, in fear for their lives. They wanted to hang Pence. They wanted anarchy.

    Finally, after the mob left, what happened?

    Congress reconvened and finished the electoral college act of confirming America’s election of President Biden.

    History will remember that act as proof of the strength of the Democratic Republic.

  5. @ David R. Miller — If my memory serves me correctly, you have made numerous such comments on this blog. Unfortunately, I don’t have the skill required to research them in a timely manner.

  6. @Old man Dave

    Thank you for confirming my hypothesis. Enjoy fighting with the riff raff for a slightly better than average coach seat. Actually I rarely fly domestic, and when I do I fly up front, and I don’t check bags bc that’s what dumb old people do.

    Both the left and right have their lowest common denominators, the left has criminals, illegals, self declared victims, and state dependants…the right has old farts like you. If given then choice I’ll still take idiots like you, but can you please try to not be such a drag on the cause?

  7. Mantis — What cause? you mean the cause for sanity, being courteous, being polite, having good sense, accepting responsibility, having manners, showing respect, not spewing filth every other word – are these part of the cause you speak of?

  8. @ David — I’ll just wait for your next racist or hate÷filled remarks, but hopefully they will never come.

  9. Gene – As expected, you are/were unable to find any of the fictitious remarks you claim I have made. Guilty without proof, right? — You must be a very unhappy person who can’t stand to be confronted with reality and the actual truth.

  10. Wow, this thread is a perfect example displaying the fact humans don’t have free will. They simply react to the words they are reading with the limited vocabulary they have with their heads. If only they took the time to learn more.

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