Schatz joined Obama on the flight shortly after Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) announced Wednesday that Schatz, Hawaii's lieutenant governor, would succeed Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) who died earlier in December.

Schatz will be sworn in at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

Just before Air Force One took off Schatz tweeted that he had "a nice, brief chat with the President on Air Force One. Looking forward to supporting his agenda in the Senate."

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and his wife were also flying on Air Force One with Obama and Schatz, according to a White House pool report. 

—This story was updated at 9:37 a.m.