Flying "Congressional" Class at Washington’s Airports

You may be aware that members of Congress get free health care, and that their pensions provide for them long after they’ve retired from active service. But did you know the other perks that our solons get, gratis–FREE AIRPORT PARKING!

Yes, that’s right. WTOP 103.5 FM news reports on the perks of power, and one of them seriously sticks in our craw. There are private lots at both Ronald Reagan and Dulles international where only Senate and House members are entitled to park–for free!

These VIP lots are nestled between the hourly lots and the terminal at Reagan, there are only about 89 spaces for the privileged class. And if these spaces are full, they simply wave their Congressional ID to the cashier at the pay lots for free parking there.

The defense commonly offered is that these important members have to go home to visit constituents, and thus, need to get to their flights more easily.

Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute says members of Congress need special priviledges but only to a point. “The free parking grates on the average person who has to park miles away and pay a fortune for it. I will cut members of Congress some slack when you have an uncertain schedule and demands back home, but you can only go so far.”