Skip to content

Trump International? What would it take for a U.S. airport to be named after President Trump?

Dec. 23, 2020
5 min read
Trump International? What would it take for a U.S. airport to be named after President Trump?
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Ronkonkoma, N.Y.: President Donald Trump's personal jet is parked on the tarmac at Long Island MacArthur Airport on October 21, 2018, in Ronkonkoma, New York, where the Boeing 757 has been undergoing maintenance since the end of last month. (Photo by Stefanie Dazio/Newsday RM via Getty Images)

He already had an airline, so is an airport next?

As he mulls life after the White House, President Trump has reportedly asked aides about the possibility of a getting a major American airport named after him. The Daily Beast was first to report the news that the president has been inquiring about the process of naming airports including asking advisors what the process entails. The president, however, is reportedly interested not in just any airport. Instead, he's wants to make sure it's not one with "crumbling infrastructure" or a bad reputation, according to the report.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

He may be limited to red state airports. The feds don't have oversight of airports except for Washington D.C., so he will have to find a local government willing to entertain the notion. That will likely be in a conservative part of the country.

Daily Beast White House Reporter Asawin Suebsaeng wrote:

"Trump, very likely, will have a number of allied state and national politicians eager to demonstrate their devotion to him with an airport-naming push. But the process isn’t supposed to come until after he leaves office. The fact that it’s on his mind now, amid an exploding coronavirus crisis and accompanying economic problems, demonstrates how far his attention can drift even during weighty and difficult moments."

The state that voted for President Trump with the biggest margin was Wyoming. Perhaps Cheyenne (CYS) or Casper, Wyoming (CPR) might be amenable. Jackson Hole is also an option though Teton County was one of the few in Wyoming to vote for President-elect Biden (and it wasn't close).

Jackson Hole Airport 2020. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Related: How the election will change the travel industry

Lots of presidents have received the honor of getting airports named for them including Theodore Roosevelt in Dickinson, North Dakota (DIK), Dwight Eisenhower in Wichita, Kansas (ICT), John Kennedy in New York (JFK), George H.W. Bush in Houston (IAH), and George Washington (he shares the honor with Ronald Reagan) at Virginia's Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Related: President-elect Biden names Mayor Pete for Transportation Secretary

President Trump likely is not amused by one of the latest airports to be named for a former president — The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT) in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The soon-to-be-ex-president may have his eye on something more grand, like a large, international airport. Indeed, some of the most famous airports in the world have been named for former leaders.

Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) is among the biggest airports in the world. De Gaulle helped lead the resistance to the Nazi occupation of France, and later became France's prime minister and was elected twice to the presidency. Or there's the Montréal–Trudeau International Airport (YUL) in Canada. That airport was named for the 15th prime minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau (He's also the father of Canada's current prime minister).

Related: Things no one tells you about Montreal

There's also the Nelson Mandela International Airport in Cape Verde (RAI) named for Nelson Mandela who helped end apartheid in South Africa and later went on to become president of that country.

Of course, the current occupant of the White House may not have quite the same resume, but he certainly has a long-time love of the airline industry.

Famously, Trump bought an airline in the 1980's.

Donald Trump poses with Frank Lorenzo, owner of Eastern Air Lines Shuttle, and a model of the Trump jetliner. October 12, 1988. (Photo by Michael Schwartz/New York Post Archives /(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)

In 1989, then businessman Donald Trump bought the struggling Eastern Air Lines Shuttle in a deal valued at $365 million. The carrier served Boston, New York and Washington and Trump promptly renamed it the "Trump Shuttle," relaunching it with a ton of pomp and circumstance. He actually refurbished each plane to get gold fixtures and plush carpeting at a cost of a million dollars a plane. Eventually, he lost his initial $20 million investment, and much more. The New York Times reported when he turned the operation over to USAir in 1991, he lost at least $100 million dollars he'd personally guaranteed.

Hopefully, any airport named for the president won't meet the same fate.

President Trump hasn't always gotten it right when it comes to airports. Back on the Fourth of July of 2019, he gave a speech where he said, “The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge.. .. found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown. Our army manned the [unclear]. It rammed the ramparts. It took over the airports. It did everything it had to do."

Obviously, there were no airports during the Revolutionary War (or the War of 1812 for that matter which he also referenced). The president later said the teleprompter malfunctioned.

Featured image by Getty Images

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees