If you're used to traveling as a VIP – scooting through a shorter security line at the airport, enjoying priority boarding and lounging with plenty of legroom in first class seating – you may have noticed a trend that makes you feel slightly claustrophobic lately. With all the credit card travel points and airline extras that are available to just about anyone, the VIP lines are getting more and more crowded and starting to feel a lot like economy travel.
Airports tend to be the least enjoyable aspect of traveling, but airlines, wanting to please their most valued flyers, are catching up with the crowding VIP lines with new specialty services designed for celebrities – or those who want to be treated like them, The Huffington Post reports.
Through some airlines and airports, you can arrange to be greeted by airport personnel right at the curb, where you will be given a pre-printed ticket and escorted through security to a private check-in gate. Other airlines provide VIP guests with luxurious and secluded lounges, while some celebs can be driven from gate to gate in a private Porsche, according to the news outlet.
The VIP service continues once these luxury travelers are on the plane. Personnel from airlines such as Delta and American Airlines ensure last-second boarding for those who don't want to be recognized for their famous faces, and will reserve overhead space for them – a hot commodity now that more people are carrying their luggage on instead of checking it.
Of course, such services are not cheap. According to its website, American Airlines charges $125 for its VIP services per adult flying to and from New York, Miami or Los Angeles. Traveling through Boston, Dallas, San Francisco and Washington, D.C is $200, and prices are even higher for international flights. Still, for celebrities and other high-power flyers, it's chump change compared to renting a private jet, and is a small price to pay for security and privacy.