President Barack Obama took the entire family – First Lady Michelle and First Daughters Malia and Sasha – with him to Europe for the G8 Summit being held this week, according to the Daily Mail and host of other national and international media outlets reporting on Sunday. The foursome landed at Aldergrove International Airport near Belfast in Northern Ireland. The cost of the two-day trip is estimated to be more than $5.2 million based on projections arrived at from their $2.6 million one-day excursion the Obamas took two years ago.
The costs include, but are not limited to, Air Force One travel costs which are approximately $180,000 per hour when the aircraft is off the ground. Additional costs on this trip include the two modes of transportation needed – Air Force One and Air Force Two – as the president and the rest of his family will be separated. Also, First Lady Michelle and her daughters are reportedly staying in the Five-Star Shelbourne Hotel where 30 rooms had been reserved for Mrs. Obama’s entourage and secret service security for the family. The hotel’s website says the facility has no vacancies during the time the First Family members are there. The First Lady is staying in a luxurious Princess Grace suite that costs $3,300 per night. The Princess Grace Suite has two beds, two bathrooms, four phones, and three large televisions. United States tax-payers pay for First Family travel expenses.
While the president is at the G8 Summit, First Lady Michelle and First Daughters Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11, will be out-and-about doing a variety of activities including the investigation of the Obamas’ ancestry from Ireland. It was previously researched that President Barack Obama’s great-great-great grandfather was from Moneygall, Co. Offaly. The great-great-great grandfather and his son Falmouth Kearney came to the United States in 1850.
When the president and his family arrived, roads leading in and out of Belfast were closed to accommodate their transport which reportedly was of grave concern to the schools which are in the midst of final exams. Students and teachers were warned that they would need a great deal of extra time to accommodate their alternate routes to get to school for the exams.
Much like the Chicago G8 Summit that took place 13 months ago, the streets have been lined with thousands of policemen, many who were brought in from the surrounding areas.
The two-day G8 Summit ends on June 18, 2013.