Status takes many forms. Most of them come into direct contact at the airport. It’s where Southwest passengers eat Cinnabon waiting for flights to places like Tucson while (briefly) breathing the same air as the rich and famous wearing their baseball hats low and sunglasses indoors. Panda Express and Paul Frank under the same roof; the big city airport is the American melting pot you didn’t know you were looking for.
In Los Angeles, that’s about to change. If you’re a frequent visitor to the airport to the stars, soon you won’t have to take off your travel pillow to ask Will Smith to take a selfie. Soon you will have to eat your orange chicken alone. That’s because the airport gods (the Board of Airport Commissioners) voted on Thursday approving the construction of a private terminal for Hollywood stars, sporting icons, and just generic, boring rich people, too.
Here’s more on what it will look like from the Guardian:
LAX said the new 43,750 ft terminal, which will be built and run by celebrity security firm Gavin de Becker & Associates, will bring in additional revenue of $3.7m in the first year and $34m over the 10-year lease… It will cost $1,500-$1,800 per trip to use the new terminal, which will include exclusive lounges, dedicated catering and separate security and border checkpoints. When it’s time to board, guests will be driven directly to their plane. The plans promise that guests using the new terminal will have to walk about 60 steps, compared to as many as 2,200 from street to plane seat via the public terminals.
I think the point is there comes a point in anyone’s life where you say how much is each step worth to you and how do you want to allocate them each day, you know?
Exclusive terminals already exist in London, Madrid, Dubai, among others. But why do celebs need this new so-called Los Angeles Suite? Well, it’s because of you, really. Apparently, some of us can’t control ourselves. “LAX has become increasingly concerned about injuries and disruption in what are already very crowded facilities from paparazzi and from fans racing about with smartphones to get pictures of famous people,” according to the Wall Street Journal. “It seems to happen daily and is a drain on airport police and cause of delay for many travelers, says Deborah Ale Flint, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, the operator of LAX.”
Update (!), Nov. 19, 2015: This is what can happen when celebrities are forced to use *normal terminals.* You’ve been warned.