The Seattle Times has an article on VIP treatment for those with deep wallets – For $2,500 extra, you can beat the airport lines.
These services include:
Last week, IdeaWorks issued a fascinating report, “VIP for a Fee,” which describes the various VIP services airlines offer at airports. The services often include airport curbside-to-plane personal escorts, priority check-in and even fripperies, such as being driven to the airplane by limousine. (By the way, that usually requires the fancy-pants passenger to climb steep stairs from the tarmac to the airplane.)
Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks, said this marketing was “a way for an airline to reach deeper into the pockets of people who are willing to pay more for a higher level of service.” Those people are typically high-spending travelers who are not beholden to strict company travel and preferred-airline policies, “a small portion of the marketplace,” Sorensen said.
He said VIP services that used to be provided quietly are now being openly marketed because: “Airlines are realizing that they can actually sell this. And we’re going to see more and more of that, because it works.”
But the author of the Seattle Times article feels it is adding to class stratification approaching Medieval levels, going on to say:
To me, this highlights a disconcerting trend toward imposing almost-medieval degrees of social stratification on air travel. This trend can be most easily witnessed in that absurd routine you see at airport boarding gates, where the agent invites premium and elite passengers to board along a blue or red carpet and then quickly closes that lane off with a rope and directs the nonprivileged to walk on a gray-carpeted lane next to it.