Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

Oh, the Humanity! LAX Officials Flying Biz Class When City is Broke

Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

CBS2 has mounted an investigation into the travel habits--namely spending--of city officials, and have discovered that Los Angeles International Airport execs prefer to fly business class, and the city is footing the bill. Gina Marie Lindsey, LAX Airport Director, who has flown in a few $8- to $10,000 seats on international flights, says she doesn't "understand what the problem is."

Lindsey, who draws a salary of $326,000 (more than the Mayor of Los Angeles or the Governor of California) and her fellow high-level execs racked up over $98,000 in air travel costs from January 1, 2010 through March of this year, on a total of 12 trips overseas. Opting in some cases to fly Business Class, Lindsey says that she made the choice to not fly coach, and that her choice is supported by the city's policy in place for funding her business travel.

Interviewed by CBS2, Lindsey says she is not required to fly Business Class, but she is "allowed to," adding: "And yes, on these long flights business class is a more humane way to travel.”

Those remarks were brought up during an on-camera interview with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who carefully considered how to properly phrase his response, after a series of "ums," before stating: “I think we all agree, that, uh, there could have been a better choice of words."

Support for LAist comes from

Oh, the humanity of flying Business class when a broke city is paying the bill. Do you think Lindsey should be channeling her inner William Shatner and brokering a better fare or sucking it up and flying cattle coach with the rest of the clientele she serves at LAX? Or do you think high-level execs should take advantage of every perk the job has to offer, including flying high when the choice is there?