Monday, June 20, 2011

Wanna fly first class? Get elected governor.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Next time you walk humiliated through first class, lugging bursting-at-the-seams carry-on bags to your jump seat outside the toilets, keep your eyes open for Gov. Nathan Deal. Via James Salzer:

Two weeks after Gov. Nathan Deal signed a $30 million tax break for Delta, the airline upgraded Deal and his wife to first class — “Diamond” medallion status that the company awards to its most valued customers.

That status includes free upgrades when seats are available, Sky Club membership, bonus miles, priority check-in and boarding, fee waivers and more.

Deal’s spokesman said there was no connection between his signing of the bill and his new medallion status and called the gift a “contribution to the state of Georgia.”

Delta put the combined value of the awards at just under $8,000, well above the $25 gift limit included in the executive order Deal signed that covers ethics for his office and others under his authority.

According to a spokesman, the Deals won't use the perk for vacations. (Like us, the governor and first lady plan to spend their leisure time in Georgia. We recently went in on a lovely timeshare in Zebulon with some folks we met at the shooting range. Email us if you want to visit.)

Might we suggest then that the governor occasionally loan the perk to Clayton County residents, who kissed an estimated $13 million in tax revenue goodbye thanks to the exemption?

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