Back to school (but not on the bus)

September 4, 2007

falcon2000-63frontcabinfacingforward.jpgSchool starts back up today (at least in the NYC area) and for most kids, that means car-pooling, hopping on a school bus, or, as I did when I went to high school in NYC, the subway or a city bus. But some kids — well, one kid, in particular — is heading back to school in a bit more luxurious fashion and hopping a Falcon 2000 for her commute to school.

I’m talking about Qwest Communications (Q), which as footnoted.org regulars know, holds a special place in my heart, mostly because it’s where I really learned to start delving into footnotes. So the amended employment agreement the company filed late Friday for CEO Edward Mueller definitely caught my attention.

The main reason for the change? Allowing Mueller’s wife and stepdaughter to use Qwest’s jet for their personal use. As the Rocky Mountain News reported, the stepdaughter attends high school in California and Qwest is based in Denver. “The amendment reflects a great appreciation for his family situation as his daughter wraps up her current schooling in California,” Qwest spokesman Bob Toevs told the newspaper. Whether Toevs was able to say that with a straight face is open to debate.

My guru on all things corporate jet-related estimates that this perk could cost Qwest as much as $600K, assuming normal charter rates for the Falcon 2000. “Wish I could have gone to high school like this,” he writes. As for me, it certainly beats the B-64 bus that I used to take to high school.

The Qwest filing dovetails with a new study released earlier today by The Corporate Library which found that more than half of the CEOs studied were able to use their company’s corporate jets for personal trips.

Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Friday’s filings. After a week off of email, I’m still making my way through a pile of filings and there’s plenty of interesting things turning up.

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