by baldilocks

Hot news flash, yes?

I don’t know. People accumulate money for reasons, with comfort being among them. But the implication in this Guardian piece is that there is something wrong with purchasing insulation against the Special Hell that is LAX.

The guiltiest pleasure at Los Angeles international airport’s (LAX) new private terminal for the mega-rich is not the plush, hushed privacy, or the beds with comforters, or the massages, or the coriander-scented soap, or the Willie Wonka-style array of chocolates and jelly beans, or the Napa Valley cabernet.

It is the iPad that sits on a counter at the entrance, with a typed little note: “Here is a glimpse of what you’re missing over at the main terminal right now.”

The screen shows travellers hauling bags through packed terminals, queuing in long lines, looking harassed and being swallowed into pushing, shoving paparazzi scrums – routine hazards for the 80 million people who pass through LAX each year.

“There they process thousands of people at a time, they’re barking. It’s loud. Here it’s very, very lovely,” said Gavin de Becker [yes], who runs the new terminal, called Private Suite.

He wasn’t wrong. The $22m facility, the first of its kind in the US, opens on Monday, giving the 1% a whole new way to separate themselves from everyone else’s reality. (…)

It is pricey. In addition to annual membership of $7,500, you pay $2,700 per domestic flight and $3,000 per international flight. The cost covers a group of up to four people. If you aren’t a member, you pay $3,500 for a domestic flight and $4,000 for international flight for a group of up to three people.

I don’t recall any barking, during the two round trips I made via LAX last year—to Nairobi and to Albuquerque in order to visit my various parental units. What I do recall about the Tom Bradley International Terminal, however, is that I couldn’t find one single electrical outlet except near the exit. After a ten-hour trip from Amsterdam—also with no access to electrical outlets—trying to use my Über app was a precarious business with nearly no juice on my phone.

I couldn’t care less about some phantom rich guy allegedly laughing at me. I do care about not being able to charge my  %^%*&$ phone in the huge feceshole that is the Bradley Terminal while trying to get home after 18 hours of air travel.

If in need of some Hunger Games-style schadenfreude check out the iPad showing the hoi polloi running gauntlets over at the main terminal.

Remember: the animosity that some have for the rich is cover for unacknowledged if thinly disguised covetousness and personal feelings of inadequacy.  This piece is designed to exacerbate that.

But, do the rich laugh at the poor? I’m sure some do, and that says a lot about the laughers’ personal feelings of inadequacy as well. I guess that there are things against which money is scant refuge. And Mr. de Becker seems intent on exploiting that. Capitalism–the worst economic system there is…except for all of the others.

Would I buy a spot in this bit of LAX purgatory if I had the means? You bet your ass I would. And I would have better things to do with my time than laugh at some poor black chick who can’t find an electrical outlet in the international terminal—like help the owners of the terminal install acknowledgement to the facts of the 21st century.

(Thanks to Liberty Blitzkrieg)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on

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