Wall Street Execs Still Fly Private Jets

Costly travel rationalized as time saver
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Dec 22, 2008 5:47 AM CST
A worker cleans the fuselage of an executive jet built by Embraer. AIG has seven such aircraft in its fleet, among the largest.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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(Newser) – Six ailing Wall Street firms that eagerly took bailout funds still spend thousands to operate fleets of private jets that whisk their executives to company—and personal—events, AP reports. AIG, which scooped up $150 billion from the government, beats its peers with a seven-jet fleet. Fuel alone for a single cross-country trip runs $20,000. 

The perceived lavishness is amplified by murky disclosure laws that leave "a lot of gray area" for personal trips, according to a business professor. If an executive takes one company call or plays golf with potential partners during personal travel, the trip can qualify as business-related. Some companies argue the trips by private jet save time, but others are scaling back fleets and trips in the face of increasing public scrutiny.