Monday, May 29, 2017

How the Other Half Travels

There's no way to sugar-coat it: air travel nowadays sucks. From the ever-tinier seats and ever-skimpier service in "economy" class to the endless lines at security check-in to the overbooked flights that sometimes result in you being ejected from a seat you paid for, air travel is less "fly the friendly skies" and more "grit your teeth and hope you get there."

But if you've got the right stuff, it doesn't have to be that way.

You may have seen some recent reporting about the new, private terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) - the one that serves the rich and famous so they don't have to rub elbows with the Great Unwashed*. Using this service - called "The Private Suite" - doesn't come cheap, of course ... it costs $7,500 a year to join and keep up a membership, with another $2,700 (for up to four people) each time you use it**. The cost goes up to $3,000 per use for international flights. If you don't want to pay the $7,500 for membership, you can use a shared suite for a mere $2,000 per visit.

And what does this get you, besides your own spiffy terminal?

First of all, no hassles with TSA people groping you and searching your belongings while everyone looks on ... security screening is done in the comfort and privacy of The Private Suite. According to the website, a team of eight persons is assigned to each member, and

"Members spend their pre-flight time in totally private suites, each with its own bathroom, its own food-service pantry, a two-person daybed, and a runway view of aircraft landing and taking off ... When it’s time to board, Private Suite members are driven across the tarmac, Head-of-State style, directly to their aircraft."

I could deal with that.

The airport and the operator of the service justify the service and its cost by pointing out that it improves security by separating important passengers whose presence might result in inconvenience to lesser customers because of extra security and annoying papparazzi. The operator also claims to reimburse ICE for added expenses and to employ TSA agents "only as needed" ... no burden to taxpayers or longer lines for Real People because TSA is dedicating personnel to the rich and famous.

I don't know about you, but I feel so much better knowing that persons wealthier and more important than I are working hard to protect me from inconvenience ... just like I'm reaping all the benefits of those tax breaks other people get to make my life better.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* That would be you and I.

** How else are you going to keep the riffraff out?

1 comment:

Mike said...

Don't terrorists have lots of money?