June 18, 2014 at 8:37 pm

GM CEO, execs face flight delays returning to Detroit

Washington — General Motors executives haven’t had great luck getting to or from Washington for congressional hearings — and Wednesday was no different.

CEO Mary Barra’s commercial flight was delayed for several hours because of thunderstorms. She had to switch to a second D.C.-area airport to get a different commercial flight back to Detroit.

GM spokesman Greg Martin said executives finally got home early evening.

The automaker said that Barra and others would fly commercially to the first round of hearings in early April; that policy continued for her second round.

Executives from the automaker faced enormous criticism in 2008 when they — along with executives from Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC — flew to bailout hearings in corporate jets. They agreed to drive to a second round of hearings in December 2008 from Detroit.

When the Treasury Department in December 2013 exited its GM investment, the Detroit automaker was allowed to again use corporate jets for business practices like any other company. But having learned their lesson five years ago, they kept the corporate jet grounded for Wednesday’s hearing.

dshepardson@detroitnews.com