Granite Express

Departing Des Moines immediately after the Iowa Caucus results, the Granite Express is a direct charter flight to Manchester, New Hampshire in the very early morning hours of Tuesday, February 4th, offered on a per-seat basis to members of the media and campaigns — designed to get you on the ground in the Granite State quicker and more comfortably than any commercial alternative.

Simple Fares
The first 30 seats were priced at $750 and are now fully committed.

The next 30 seats available are priced at $950 each. We are currently selling seats in this block.

The next tier of 30 seats are priced at $1,450 each.

The final 30 seats on the aircraft are priced at $1,950 each.

Flight logistics and baggage costs are detailed in our FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Granite Express?

A. Granite Express is a one-time charter flight from Des Moines, Iowa to Manchester, New Hampshire just after the Iowa caucus results are in, designed to be a quicker and more comfortable way for media & campaigns to get their personnel from the Hawkeye State to the Granite State as the primary process moves on.

Q. Who is organizing this?

A. The Granite Express is unaffiliated with any campaign or media organization and is open to any accredited member of the press or employee of a 2020 campaign.

This flight is run by Doug Landry, a DC-based political advance & logistics professional with multiple cycles of experience on national campaigns, most recently as Trip Director aboard Senator Tim Kaine’s campaign aircraft for the 2016 general election.

Q. When does it take off and when does it land?

A. The Granite Express will be wheels up from Des Moines (DSM) at approximately 1 a.m. Central Time on Tuesday, February 4th and will be wheels down in Manchester (MHT) at approximately 4:45 a.m. Eastern Time — for a total flight time of approximately 2 hours, 45 minutes.

Q. How much does a seat on board cost?

A. Our pricing is simple and encourages media organizations and campaigns to reserve seats early: the first 30 seats at $750 are already fully committed. The next 30 seats are $950, then the next 30 seats are $1,450 and finally the last 30 seats on the aircraft are $1,950. We are currently selling seats in the second block at $950.

Q. What type of aircraft is operating the flight? What is the seating layout? Who is operating the flight?

A. The Granite Express will be operated by a Boeing 737-800 commercial aircraft in 3x3 economy seating provided under charter from Sun Country Airlines, a large, experienced airline with extensive winter weather operating experience from their hub at Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport.

Q. What about baggage?

A. One checked bag (50 lbs or less) and one standard carry on bag are included with each seat. Additional bags (including checked camera gear, etc) are $75 each, which will be billed at check-in, so you don’t have to worry about determining how many bags you need at the time of booking.

Q. How do I book seats?

A. Right here on our website, all major credit cards are accepted.

Q. Can I reserve a particular seat?

A. No, we will be assigning seats and expect the plane to be completely full. Windows and aisles will go to the first seats purchased.

Media seating and campaign staff seating will be separately seated, but there are no restrictions on movement aboard.

Q. Are fares refundable?

A. Fares are 100% refundable for any reason through midnight on January 1st, 2020 — so there is no reason not to grab the cheapest seats now.

Through January 20th, 2020 at midnight, all fares are 50% refundable. After that, all fares are 100% nonrefundable.

However, please note that unlike a commercial airline, you can change the name of the passenger for each purchased seat all the way up until noon on Caucus Day (Feb 3rd, 2020) so there is huge flexibility for your organization as it makes coverage/campaign plans.

Q. Where does the aircraft depart from in Des Moines and where does it land in Manchester?

A. We’ll be using the Signature Flight Support private aviation facility at Des Moines International, avoiding the passenger terminal altogether. We will have plenty of private security arranged to meet TSA requirements when boarding. Passengers are asked to arrive no later than 12 midnight in order to board the aircraft for an on-time departure at 1 a.m.. We will not wait for late arriving passengers out of respect for the schedules of the rest of the guests.

The flight will land at Signature Flight Support at Manchester International.

Q. What if there’s inclement weather?

A. We chose Sun Country Airlines as our charter provider primarily for their extensive experience with winter weather operations and their close-by base of operations at Minneapolis - St. Paul.
In the event of adverse weather, we will make every effort possible to operate the flight and are confident that it will be able to safely take off in all but the worst conditions.
If that’s the case, we’ll wait out the weather or look at alternate airports to depart from and will arrange ground-based transportation for our passengers from Des Moines to the new departure airport.

There will be no refunds available in the event of a weather delay.

Q. Will there be food on board?

A. A standard airline drink and snack service will be offered immediately upon takeoff, but no full meal will be provided, due to the late hour.

Q. How do I buy my seat?

A. Right on our purchase page on this website. Welcome aboard!

Q. My organization wants to buy multiple seats — are discounts available?

A. Yes, for 3 or more seats, please contact us directly at for details.

Q. How do I contact Granite Express?

A. Reach us at