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Under Obama, Air Force One cost per hour jumps 27% to $228,288

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Barack Obama,Judicial Watch,Hawaii,Jay Leno,Air Force One

The president spent over $7.3 million on just three trips in 2013, including $2.1 million to appear on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in August, according to new flight documents provided by the Air Force to a public watchdog group.

Judicial Watch told Secrets that the sky-high jet travel costs for the first family's 2012-2013 Christmas vacation in Hawaii, their beach vacation on Martha's Vineyard last summer and President Obama's brief trip to California in August totalled $7,396,531.20.

The Air Force said it costs $228,288 an hour to fly Air Force One, a massive $48,535 jump from the last estimate of $179,750, or 27 percent.

The details according to documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act:

— The outbound flight to Honolulu for the Obama 2012-2013 Christmas vacation cost taxpayers $2,214,393.60. The return flight to Washington was $1,871,961.60. The total price for flight expenditures alone came to $4,086,355.20.

— The outbound flight to California in August 2013 for Obama to dine with fundraiser and DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and appear on the “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” cost taxpayers $1,209,926.40. The return flight to Washington was $935,980.80. The total price for flight expenditures alone came to $2,145,907.20.

— The outbound flight to Martha’s Vineyard for the Obama family August vacation cost taxpayers $890,323.20. The return flight to Washington was $273,945.60. The total price for flight expenditures alone came to $1,164,268.80.

Getting the documents was a score for Judicial Watch, which has also sought and received Obama administration vacation spending documents from the U.S. Secret Service. Typically, flight costs are not provided. It was also the first authoritative hourly cost provided for operating Air Force One.

“The Obamas are abusing the public trust and the taxpayers with unnecessary luxurious vacations and travel,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These staggering costs show why these documents were covered up and we had to sue in federal court to get them. Another transparency fail for the Obama gang.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.