Last updated: 05:30 PM ET, Fri November 20 2015

LAX Creating Private Terminal For Celebrities

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | November 20, 2015

LAX Creating Private Terminal For Celebrities

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Imagine this, coming soon to Los Angeles International Airport.

You could pull your car – or your driver could pull the car – right onto the tarmac at a major airport, literally right up to the door of an ultra-exclusive lounge, where you could wait for your flight in complete privacy.

You would have a separate security checkpoint, separate customs, catered food options.

We’re not talking your run-of-the-mill airport lounge here where every Tom, Dick and Harry can pay $25 on a day rate so they don’t have to sit at the gate all day until their flight leaves.

Oh no.

We’re talking a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art facility that is so private, you would have a private suite inside the private facility to ensure, uh, all privacy.

Then, as your flight was ready to board, a shuttle would pick you up and take you to the main terminal to quickly board your flight.

How does one achieve this?

Simple. Be a major movie or television star, sports star, singer, businessman, captain of industry, quasi-famous …. or a Kardashian.

The Board of Airport Commissioners on Thursday voted unanimously to build such a facility for celebrities and those seeking to travel without having a TMZ video camera or paparazzi shuttering away as they take every step from curb to security to gate.

Ostensibly, LAX officials say it will help prevent such chaos that exists when celebs use the airport. An executive at Los Angeles World Airports, LAX’s parent company, told the Wall Street Journal that stars and the paparazzi can often disrupt the airport’s operations while sometimes causing security risks and delays for all travelers.

But it’s also about adding another revenue stream.

Use of the facility – an old terminal on airport grounds now, but a 43,000 square foot building in eight months when it is fully built – will cost travelers an estimated $1,500-$1,800 per trip. That’s on top of the already-purchased airline ticket.

London’s Heathrow Airport was a pioneer in this type of catered luxury, hosting a private terminal for members of the Royal Family for years before opening it up to other celebrities and those who could afford the per-trip fee.

Now, similar facilities exist in Amsterdam, Dubai, Moscow, Parist, Frankfurt and Madrid, among others.

Over the course of a 10-year lease, LAX told the Los Angeles Times it can make $34 million.

According to reports, the facility will be built and operated not by a famous architectural firm, not by the city, not even by the airport. Instead, Gavin de Becker and Associates, an L.A.-based security firm, will handle construction and operations. 


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