When the CEOs of the three Detroit based automakers used corporate jets to fly to Washington in late 2008, they were eviscerated by the national media and grandstanding politicians. Within weeks, all three companies had canceled the leases on those aircraft and all future travel by Detroit executives would be happening on commercial aircraft.
Apparently, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk didn't get the message. As the CEO of two companies (Tesla and SpaceX) Musk could certainly make the case that his time is too valuable to spend hanging out in commercial terminals. Musk himself has a Dassault Falcon 900, but he was reimbursed to the tune of $175,000 by the company in 2009. That much was revealed in Tesla's S-1 filing that was necessary for its initial public offering.
Musk flew to Washington D.C. at least a dozen times since early 2009 to help make the case to the Department of Energy for nearly half a billion dollars in low interest loans as part of the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program. Without the loan money, it seems unlikely that Tesla would have remained solvent long enough to bring the Model S to fruition. Anything that benefits a company, benefits its shareholders – in this case the biggest beneficiary (who owns 38.8 percent of the company's shares) of Tesla's success will, of course, be Musk himself.