MONDAY MAR 04, 2024
Search AeroXplorer
Political Candidate George Santos Expelled After Allegedly Spending $40,000 of Campaign Funding on Airfare

Political Candidate George Santos Expelled After Allegedly Spending $40,000 of Campaign Funding on Airfare


Does George Santos, the former Congressional Representative for New York’s 3rd District, have a favorite airline? Campaign finance data suggests he may.


Photo: Sam Almo-Milkin | AeroXplorer


George Santos is no longer a Congressional representative following a recent expulsion, giving him ample time to reflect on his financial decisions. Some of these decisions involved using campaign finances on airfare—exorbitantly so.




In late December of 2022, The New York Times traced campaign spending receipts from George Santos—recently elected that November—and found that upwards of $40,000 worth of campaign funds were spent on air travel to California, Texas, and Florida. What stands out is that these funds were likely for vacation or non-business related trips; after all, he only represents New York and has little Congressional need to travel outside New York and D.C.


Photo: Monish Shah | AeroXplorer


Likewise, $40,000 on air travel is quite an extreme amount of money for someone who only recently won an election; you would think his name is synonymous with a long track record of legislation in Congress if he is spending that much, but indeed, his name is not.


Alongside the $40,000 in air travel was $30,000 in hotel rooms and $15,000 on private cars. Other freshman congressional candidates - Republican Congressman Nick LaLota, for one - spent around $3,000 on airfare, just 7.5% of what Santos paid.


Photo: Ben Allen | AeroXplorer


At the time, Joe Murray, one of Santos’s lawyers, said that some of his campaign funds were spent “unwisely,” but all expenditures were legal. It remains unclear whether the campaign was spending $40,000 on Santos or his staff; it would be much more reasonable to suspect an entire team was traveling across the country for $40,000.




Of the $40,000, $38,000 was spent with Delta Air Lines on at least four occasions combined. Obviously, $40,000 would be enough for Santos to rack up quite a few SkyMiles - enough to become a Diamond Medallion member. Perhaps he strategically spent a lot early on in the campaign to gain status and reap the benefits of upgrades down the line. One witness to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) said that Santos traveled at least once per month during the campaign trail.


Photo: Adam Jackson | AeroXplorer


In an unrelated campaign spending incident from February 2022 on the campaign trail, Santos used $1500 on JetBlue flights alone, although the destination and class are unknown. Delta still reigns supreme to George Santos.



 AeroXplorer is on Telegram! Subscribe to the AeroXplorer Telegram Channel to receive aviation news updates as soon as they are released. View Channel 
Davis Turner
Planespotter and aviation journalist from the San Francisco Bay Area. Davis has previously worked on business plan research with StartupBoeing and historical analysis with Ricondo and Associates. Davis will be a freshman in college this fall, based in Chicago.

Comments (0)

Add Your Comment



NEWS Politics Delta Air Lines Government Investigation Finance New York DC SkyMiles


Neste’s Innovative Solution Will Reduce Companies’ Business Travel Emissions by Up to 80% Finnish refining company Neste introduced a new solution to help companies reduce their aviation emissions by purchasing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Neste Impact allows businesses to report carbon dioxide emissions reductions that align with their sustainability targets. NEWS READ MORE »
How Does Essential Air Service Benefit Small and Isolated Communities? The Essential Air Service program was implemented to guarantee that small communities served by certified air carriers before airline deregulation maintained a minimal level of scheduled air service. INFORMATIONAL READ MORE »
Investigation Underway After Embraer Lands on Closed Section of Runway in Northern Brazil In a near-catastrophic event, a plane landed on runway 26 under construction at Boa Vista International Airport (BVB) in northern Brazil, almost impacting a maintenance van. NEWS READ MORE »


NEW!AeroXplorer Aviation Sweater Use code AVGEEK for 10% off! BUY NOW