Taking the stress out of airport travel, the rich and famous will soon have their own private lounge when traveling out of Los Angeles International Airport. Imagine, no more paparazzi and persistent fans to deal with and no more dark shades during the day!
LAX airport got an approval to build a $3 million VIP-only private lounge where celebrities can realx and wait for their flight with all the privacy and comforts they need. The new lounge will be located in a converted cargo facility, away from the main terminal with private shuttles on stand to take them to their passenger gates at boarding time. The new VIP lounge will charge travelers up to $1,800 and os scheduled to open in six-to-eight months. Until then, airlines will continue to whisk in their celebrity guests, dodging paparazzi and crazy (read loyal) fans.
At LAX airport, the post popular airline with the celebrities is currently American Airlines, who have mastered the art of ‘VIP attention’.
So what goes behind whisking an A-lister without the chaos, inconveniencing fellow travelers or disrupting the security?
“You’d be surprised how creative individuals can get if they really want to take your picture,” says J.C. Liscano, head of American Airlines’ operations for LAX, adding, “we do everything we absolutely can to keep the paparazzi away to protect the privacy of those that are traveling.”
Here is a step-by-step on star departures and arrivals at LAX airport currently:
J.C. greets the guest at the LAX Departures entrance in a much smaller and private entryway but definitely with the red carpet rolled out. This is also the dedicated entrance for the airline’s passengers who use its Five-Star Service, an additional perk the airline offers to First and Business class passengers.
Inside, it’s a different view from the usual large and crowded check-in areas. Instead, there is a cozy, tastefully decorated and quiet area that could pass as the lobby of a downtown hotel.
After check-in, the celebrities have to walk through security screening – a little detail that cannot be skipped. But keeping it private, guests are whisked through a rear staircase to a TSA security line, much smaller than usual. Security is quick and the guests go through another side door down another empty hallway – which might sound lonely but it’s safe and far away from running into any paparazzi.
The hallway leads to another door which opens to the bright and airy terminal – where they are exposed to the other passengers briefly. From here, it’s just a short walk through the terminal to American’s ultra-exclusive Admirals Club lounge, from where they board their flight. The airline rep escorting the celebrity and the gate agent work together the right time to board their celebrity passenger, who often chooses to go through a side door next to the agent that leads to the jetbridge, and then from there to the plane.
Like departures, arrivals celebrities too are a challenge, esp with the throngs of paparazzi waiting for them outside.
“If we know that it is an extremely high profile [passenger], we will coordinate with TSA and other individuals to look for very discrete ways to exit the customer from the airport so they don’t have to walk through that mess,” says J.C.
This includes picking up the celebrity straight from the tarmac in one their luxury Cadillacs and driving them to a separate location to meet their driver – only on domestic flights though. Stars arriving on international flights still have to go through Customs. Then there are those who like to interact with the paparazzi and choose to walk through the airport, through baggage claim and even the outside parking lot.
With the new private lounge opening, star-spotting at LAX airport might soon become a thing of the past!
[ Via : Foxnews ]