Eit doesn't look good aboard Air Force One. As an inventory a few weeks ago showed, dishes and decorations on the plane of American President Joe Biden are becoming rarer with each trip. The reason? Journalists from the so-called Press Pool, who accompany Biden on meetings – and apparently have a penchant for souvenirs with the presidential seal. Gold-rimmed glasses and porcelain are especially popular. From time to time, towels, napkins and pillowcases are also said to have ended up in the briefcases or backpacks of up to 50 reporters.

Exhaustion aboard Air Force One has reached a level that has prompted the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) to alert its members. As Politico reporters confirmed, they received an email in recent days asking them to return memorabilia they had “accidentally” pocketed.

With the approval of the WHCA, a quiet return can be arranged. A few days ago, a White House official reportedly set up a meeting with a reporter in Lafayette Square in Washington to receive an embroidered pillowcase from Air Force One. The unusual gathering was said to be the result of a White House complaint following Biden's trip to California, where reporters had even more lavish access than usual in February.

The theft is said to be routine

Since the news of the pillowcase return, random tampering with onboard inventory has become increasingly common. “On my first flight on Air Force One, the colleague next to me asked me to put down the glass,” one member of the press corps recalled anonymously to Politico. His experienced seatmate suggested that hunting for souvenirs on the presidential plane is routine.

A number of journalists also reported to the website a former colleague who worked for a well-known newspaper. When a reporter was invited to dinner, he regularly served his guests on gold-rimmed plates from Air Force One. Theft is a tradition. More than a decade ago, actress Allison Williams (“Girls”), daughter of former host Brian Williams, recalled on a talk show how a “napkin stolen from Air Force One” helped her land a date as a teenager.

Kelly O'Donnell, head of the White House Correspondents' Association, who, like Williams' father, worked at NBC, pointed out to colleagues legal ways to obtain memorabilia bearing the presidential seal. You could also order glasses, coffee mugs and towels made from pieces on board Air Force One online – for a fee, of course.