Can Al Gore Fly Commercial?

Al Gore is taking some heat for flying around in private jets which produce many more times the carbon per person compared to commercial airliners. (While he tells the rest of us to ride bicycles to work.)

Does the secret service even allow ex VP’s to travel commercial (because of security concerns)?

Only incumbent presidents and vice-presidents, former presidents, and major presidential and vice-presidential candidates (and their families) get SS protection. Former VP’s get no SS protection, so the wishes of the Secret Service don’t enter into Gore’s travel arrangements.

Ex-presidents formerly got lifetime Secret service protection. This changed with a law enacted in 1997. Presidents elected before January 1, 1997, such as Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, can continue with lifetime SS protection. George W. Bush and later Presidents will only have protection for 10 years after leaving office. Former presidents may decline protection after leaving office if they so choose.


So, Al Gore can certainly choose to fly commercial flights.

Even if Gore had Secret Service protection, there’s no prohibition involved. The Secret Service can only advise its protectees of what they would like them to do; they cannot order them to do or not do anything. If Barack Obama decided he wanted to go to an Aryan Brotherhood keg party/gun show, the Secret Service would be unhappy but they couldn’t stop him.

A friend of mine ended up on a flight with Jimmy Carter. If Jimmy can go commercial, so can Al.

Richard Nixon once road commercial while President–

Its under “Past planes that served as Air Force One”

So if a sitting president can, I would think an ex-VP could.