The long-promised “celebrity’ terminal at Los Angeles International airport is set to open this month — and the cushy experience could become a requirement in Hollywood contracts, a new report says.
The Private Suite, operated by security czar Gavin de Becker, began construction at LAX in 2015. It promised absolute luxury and privacy for the rich and famous often harangued by paparazzi and forced to wait in line for iced coffee with the dregs of commercial fliers.
De Becker held a press preview on Monday, and the level of extreme coddling — and the sheer cost — is something to behold.
The service’s elevator pitch says it takes about 2,200 steps to get from your car to your airplane seat — whereas the private terminal promises only 70 steps from the tinted Chevy Suburban to that recliner in the sky. Check-in, TSA scans and shuttles to your gate are all private.
“If you’d like a glass of Marc Bredif Vouvray, they’ve got it, along with other wines and an assortment of cheese, meat and fruit trays. With the turn of a handle, you can empty the candy and nut bins, or enjoy a small batch of a raw dark chocolate bar with sprouted almonds,” writes the Los Angeles Times.
The terminal itself is populated by individual private suites, some customized for families. One suite comes with prayer mats and the Quran for Muslim guests. The LAT writer in attendance was even encouraged to press a button on his courtesy phone and complain he spilled something on his shirt.
“In about two minutes, a concierge wheeled in a cart with Banana Republic dress shirts, an Anne Klein blouse and Steve Madden shoes, among other items,” the report said.
Headed to New York from Los Angeles and its pouring out at JFK? They’ll give you a raincoat.
Now the damage: Membership is $7,500 annually, and $2,700 each time you use the Private Suite (for up to four people). International runs escalate to $3,000 a pop — and that expense could become standard in deals for top-paid media moguls, show business executives and stars.
“Dumb and Dumber To” and “Shallow Hal” producer Charles Wessler “predicted big stars could end up demanding the service and having it written into their contracts,” the LAT report said.
1,200 people already reportedly have memberships, including ” lawyers, entertainment executives and media types.”
It’s unclear how much money that might save a studio — the private terminal enables an exec or talent to remain sequestered from pedestrian fliers until the moment they walk on the plane, which would appease the flier in question and allow companies to pay commercial prices.
Flying private is the only way to, well, fly private — but that costs roughly $5,000 an hour according to a Fortune magazine survey from 2015. Another report pitted the roughly 5 hour flight from Miami to Los Angeles at $21,000 for the smallest range of jets (and they do run small –with capacities of 5 and 6 people).
The terminal will be fully operational and accepting members this month.