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Rail Paul

A very high end terminal at LAX

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The Wall Street Journal has a short piece about the new terminal for VIP travelers at Los Angeles airport. When completed, the new terminal will make the scrum of the paparazzi photo line inside the terminal a thing of the past.

 

The new terminal will be constructed in an old cargo building, with gated access to Imperial Highway in an industrial area. Guests will leave their vehicles in an out of site location, and be screened by TSA in the new terminal. They and their luggage will be transferred by car to the aircraft at a time of their choosing.

 

The cost will be under $2,000 per guest, and the service is expected to be profitable. TSA has become increasingly concerned about disruptions as the latest Kardashian, Kanye, Laker etc moves through the public screening process. Movie studios and large corporations see advantages to putting VIPs back on commercial aircraft, avoiding the cost of private travel.

 

The service will be similar to facilities in Moscow, Tel Aviv, London, Zurich, Istanbul, and other world cities. London's facility, one of the first, evolved from a private service originally offered to royal and government figures.

 

It's a shame that this paparazzi tradition has ended. In the golden era of rail travel, the Super Chief would deliver movie and Broadway stars to the Golden State with a red carpet down the platform of Los Angeles Union Station. Surrounded on both sides by paparazzi and press flacks

 

 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-ultimate-fast-track-for-vips-at-lax-1447872395

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There's some kind of irony surrounding these people who have scratched and scrabbled their way to fame now seeking moments of privacy among the similarly afflicted.

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The WSJ says the new terminal should fully open May 15, although it's in soft opening mode now. Belinda Carlisle was among the early users.

 

The paparazzi are the main target. The scrums, and danger to bystanders, have become a serious problem in the terminals.

 

 

Los Angeles’ airport operator, TSA and CBP are supporting the private terminal because the daily stream of celebrities creates mob scenes. Airport police get tied up working celebrity crowd control, and security lines come to a standstill as travelers snap photos and videos.

In exchange for staffing the private terminal, TSA negotiated to move other snarls out of main terminals. International flight crews, which can number more than 30 people and often march to the front of lines, will be screened at the new terminal to keep officers there busier and shorten main-terminal lines.

A Private Suite membership costs $7,500 a year. Then each trip through costs $2,700 for a group of up to four people traveling domestically or $3,000 for international flights. That’s one way.

The terminal has 13 private suites, including a room for infants with a changing table and bottle warmer, one for young children with a play yard and games, and one for Middle Eastern clients with prayer mats, a Quran and medjool dates.

Each private suite has a bathroom, a stocked refrigerator and snacks galore, from wall-mounted dispensers with nuts, jelly beans and chocolate-covered almonds to bags of treats fit for a star: roasted seaweed and tortilla chips cooked in rice bran oil. Meals are available. Just about anything forgotten will be provided free: headphones, dress shirts and blouses, ties, socks, belts and shoes, dress hem tape, cuff links and raincoats.

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You see celebs/politicians in airport lounges all the time...and since they get precheck it's not an issue for them in most airports...I'm imagining LAX is a special case.

 

Members of Congress, btw, almost always fly economy domestically (even though they'll have earned elite status with their regular airline...they'll turn down the upgrade).

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LAX is just a clusterfuck much of the time. Lots of folks try to fly out of Burbank or Long Beach if they can.

And there seem to be an increasing number of private jet services that totally bypass TSA, etc.

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