LaToya Cantrell’s flights on France trip – some first class – cost New Orleans $18,000 | Local Politics

The trip that Mayor LaToya Cantrell and three aides took to France last month cost New Orleans more than $43,000, including airfare totaling more than $18,000 just for the mayor, according to public records obtained by The Times-Picayune.

Cantrell’s travel has come under scrutiny this year, with the City Council moving to limit expenses on the public dime. In July, before the mayor’s the latest trip to France, records obtained by Gambit showed Cantrell and her top aides had spent more than $79,000 on seven trips since the beginning of 2022.

Her latest trip abroad saw Cantrell signing a sister agreement with Antibes Juan-les-Pins, on the French Riviera. Her flights were booked through an agency called Going Places Travel on United, Delta and Air France and cost $18,442, according to city records. There were six segments: two in first class, three in business class and one in economy.

Her lodging, booked through the same agency, cost $1,200.

The records show three staffers accompanied her: Communications Director Gregory Joseph, Chief of Staff Clifton Davis and security aide Robert Monlyn. All three flew economy, and their flights, collectively ringing in at $17,140, ​​cost less than Cantrell’s alone. Lodging for the three aides totaled slightly more than $3,600.

The excursion to France followed closely on the heels of a trip that Cantrell and two staffers took to Ascona, Switzerland, on June 25, to attend that city’s jazz festival and sign another sister city agreement. That trip cost City Hall more than $16,600 for airfare and lodging, records show.

Cantrell has defended her trips as a tool of economic development and to spread the word about New Orleans’ culture.

“This trip… is an important part of a long-standing friendship between our two cities, one that is built on a shared appreciation for jazz – as evidenced by their annual International Jazz Festival,” Cantrell said before the Riviera trip.

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And at a community meeting in New Orleans on Aug. 16, she said: “When I go, I’m reinvesting in the people who get marketed, and no apologies surrounding that at all.”

New Orleans now has sister city agreements with 18 municipalities across the globe, including two in France. A sister city relationship, as defined by the nonprofit membership organization SisterCities International, is “a broad-based, long-term partnership” between communities in separate countries that “offer the flexibility to form connections between communities that are mutually beneficial.”

In November 2017, Mayor Mitch Landrieu traveled to Orleans, France, and signed an agreement with that city two months later. In 2019, Cantrell traveled to Cape Coast, Ghana, to sign an agreement there.

City records show the costs associated with Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s July trip to France.


City records show the costs associated with Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s July trip to France, including airfare and lodging for Chief of Staff Clifton Davis.


City records show the costs associated with Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s July trip to France, including airfare and lodging for Communications Director Gregory Joseph.


City records show the costs associated with Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s July trip to France, including airfare and lodging for security aide Robert Monlyn.


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