'Hands off Biden's pillowcases,' journalists stealing from Air Force One told

Wide angle shot showing Air Force One
[Getty Images]

Journalists have been told to stop stealing souvenirs from US President Joe Biden's official aircraft.

An inventory check on Air Force One after Mr Biden's visit to the US west coast in February found several items were missing from its press section.

Branded pillowcases, glasses and gold-rimmed plates are among the items that have allegedly vanished from the jet.

The White House Correspondents' Association warned that taking items from the plane was forbidden.

Last month, the association sent an email to reporters to say that such behaviour reflected poorly on the press pool - the group of journalists who travel with the president - and must stop.

Journalists are sometimes given small packages of M&Ms chocolates decorated with the presidential seal as a souvenir.

But taking items with an Air Force One logo - including cutlery and towels - has been commonplace for years, reports claim.

Misha Komadovsky, White House Correspondent from the Voice of America, has gathered a "subtle" collection of items from his trips on the president's plane.

M&Ms from Air Force One
M&Ms from Air Force One pictured in 2016 during Barack Obama's presidency. [BBC]

"I didn't embarrass anyone or commit any wrongdoing to put this collection together," he told BBC News, as he held up a paper cup with the Air Force One logo he "simply forgot to throw away".

Mr Komadovsky also has a box of the presidential M&Ms with Mr Biden's signature.

"Spoiler alert. They are regular M&Ms in a nice box," he said.

Air Force One, which the White House calls the president's "office in the sky", has 4,000 sq feet (372 sq m) of floor space spread over three levels.

Its impressive facilities include an extensive suite for the president, a medical station with an operating table, a conference and dining room, two food preparation galleys that can feed 100 people at a time, and designated areas for the press, VIPs, security and secretarial staff.

With its advanced avionics and defences, the aircraft is classed as a military aircraft, designed to withstand an air attack.

It is also capable of refuelling mid-air, allowing it to fly for an unlimited time - crucial in an emergency.

Air Force One is also equipped with secure communications equipment, allowing the aircraft to function as a mobile command centre.

There are 85 onboard telephones, a collection of two-way radios and computer connections.

The president sits up front, while journalists are stationed towards the rear of the plane.

Infographic of Air Force One
[BBC]