HHS Secretary Tom Price has been taking private jets because an unreliable commercial flight once forced him to cancel an important meeting, a Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson says, part of his agenda to meet with average Americans outside of Washington.

But the flight in question — to a two-day industry conference at a Ritz-Carlton hotel in Southern California — didn’t get off the ground on a day when storms virtually shut down air traffic in the Washington region, preventing even private jets from getting out.