It was a Sunday morning in late November. I was out of town for another Holiday Bazaar, and I was hungry. So I’m sitting at a diner, waiting for my breakfast, browsing through The Seattle Times—something I rarely, if ever, have the time or opportunity to do—when an article in the “Nation and World Report” section just leaped out at me.
Headline: “Special LAX lounge would keep ‘riffraff’ from Hollywood celebrities.”
The Board of Airport Commissioners approved the proposal, and a security firm that “caters to the 1 percent” will turn an old cargo facility into a special lounge for those who can afford it. So for an estimated $1,800 PER TRIP, a “movie star, sports legend, diplomat, business magnate or regular private citizen who craves privacy witll be able to enter through a private gate, avoid the infamous airport traffic and wait far from the crush of people at the central terminal of the airport.” A shuttle will take them from the lounge to their flights and back upon return.
Ok, so yes, the paparazzi can be a major pain in the tush. Not that I’ve experienced anything like that myself. But isn’t this just one grand form of segregation? The Rich and Famous are secreted away, “off campus,” if you will, and doesn’t that add to the desperation of photographers to find a way to storm the walls of the fortress? After all, now we know where all the celebs will be hanging out, all right there together!
Special airport treatment like this is apparently nothing new; there are similar facilities in at least eight other countries. But it will be the first of its kind in the US. Originally designed for the Royal Family at Heathrow, for approximately $3,000, celebs can get the amenities of the lounge and do not have to wait in line at security or Customs. Interesting… So what defines “celebrity status?” Who screens these people? Could “riffraff” just pay the price and rub elbows with the stars?
Not something I’m likely to be doing any time soon, but sure sparked my writer’s imagination. This has good “mystery” setting and plot potential, don’t you think?