Then-President Bill Clinton saw the film twice and gave it good reviews. He noted, however, that certain elements of the film's plane, such as the escape pod and the rear parachute ramp, did not reflect actual features of Air Force One.
The Escape Pod
A Plot Device?
When Air Force One was released, there was a flurry of interest among the White House press corps in the question of whether or not the real Air Force One actually has an 'escape pod' to allow the President to escape from the airplane. While an amused White House communications office refused to discuss matters involving presidential security, fans and students of film-making recognized the escape pod for what it was — a plot device.
The screenwriter needed a way to keep the president onboard the plane and out of the hands of the terrorists while allowing the terrorists to believe the president was no longer on board. Voila. An escape pod. Jettisoned empty, the terrorists would believe the president had made his escape, while he's actually still lurking in the baggage compartment.
So the terrorists don't have the president. But they do still have First Lady Grace Marshall (Wendy Crewson) and presidential daughter Alice (Liesel Matthews), as well as the traveling contingent of the White House staff.
None of the planes used as the real Air Force One have an escape pod. President Bill Clinton is said to have remarked on this detail half-jokingly after seeing the film at a White House screening. However, this obviously was a case of artistic license since the pod was used by the filmmakers to make a key plot twist.