Topic Author
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Celebrities And Commercial Aviation

Mon Jun 28, 2004 11:13 pm

I was flying from PHX to IAH one evening, everyone's favorite basketball player Charles Barkley. The plane was sitting at the gate, when we arrived. I did not see him in the gate waiting area.

Would he have been given special privileges to enter from tarmac?

And do celebrities in general receive special treatment from the Airlines?

the Airline in question was America West.
Failure is not an option.....
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RE: Celebrities And Commercial Aviation

Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:42 am

I know at AA there was/is a special list that all VIP's are put on if the airline knows in advance that they are flying. If the airline knows or even when the VIP is checking in, the agents would ask if they would like to wait for their flight in a different seating area (i.e. Admiral's Clubs and Flagship Suites) versus sitting at the gate with the public. Many celebrities would say yes, thus avoiding the crowds/fans at the gate. At last minute they are put on the plane, usually by way of the ramp, up the jet bridge stairs (pre-911 of course) and in the plane First Class right as they close the door. Then they are the first ones off. If anyone likes celebrity spotting, they should check out the nightly red-eye flights from the west coast. They tend to prefer those because most of the traveling public is asleep.


I was working in Austin as a Fleet Service Clerk, hanging out at the ticket counter between flights. Sandra Bullock checked in for a flight to Dallas. The agent asked if she would like to be seated in a special room to wait for her flight. Ms. Bullock refused and said she would like to sit at the gate just like everyone else. She wasn't bothered at the gate and everything went fine.
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RE: Celebrities And Commercial Aviation

Tue Jun 29, 2004 7:33 am

Once I was travelling with my family and we were in the flagship lounge in BOS, and we met John Kerry. He told us that he was escorted through security and brought directly to the lounge.

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RE: Celebrities And Commercial Aviation

Tue Jun 29, 2004 9:57 am

I worked for YV in PHX for almost a year and saw many celebrities, Charles Barkley included, and as far as I know none of the celebrities were allowed to board any differently than other first class passengers, but I guess since almost all the flights were boarded via the ramp on the express side their weren't many other boarding options. As far as waiting for their flight to depart, to the best of my knowledge they usually are given the option of waiting in a more private area prior to the boarding of their aircraft, just like N276AASTT said. And finally- concerning the time of boarding for VIPs, I do not believe they are always boarded last, their have been many times celebs have boarded along with the rest of the passengers in their class. I have seen Alice Cooper, Charles Barkley, Paula Abdul, and Sinbad all board at the normal time, as a matter of fact, I believe it was Richard Simmons who insisted on always boarding first, as opposed to last, on one occasion he had the entire aircraft deplaned just so he could board the aircraft first, if you do a quick search you may be able to find that discussed in the forums here at
Hope that helps  Smile
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RE: Celebrities And Commercial Aviation

Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:23 pm

I don't know if I am right or not, but I would guess that fewer and fewer celebrities are travelling commercially these days. It seems so many of them are opting to travel on private jets instead. Must be nice!!

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RE: Celebrities And Commercial Aviation

Tue Jun 29, 2004 1:54 pm

There is a famous Chilean TV host (Don Francisco), very popular among the hispanic community of USA.
In the 80s, Don Francisco had 2 TV shows, one in Miami and one in Santiago He traveled to USA and return every week, for 3 years. He has said that many times Lan Chile waited for him when the crew realized he was delayed for catching the flight.
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RE: Celebrities And Commercial Aviation

Mon Jul 12, 2004 12:55 pm

On the 12th of June on a flight to LAX from SFO Drew Barrymore(spelling?) was seated in 1D of our 737-500 a/c. I didn't notice this until, when speaking to the capt., he asked if I wanted to join him in giving Ms. Barrymore a worm welcome. I think he was just messing with me b/c he knew that I was more interested in the flight controls than the celeb in first.

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RE: Celebrities And Commercial Aviation

Mon Jul 12, 2004 8:19 pm

I know that when Robbie Eilliams came to NZ he left by the tramac at WLG. Also pres Clinton left from the tarmac at AKL in 1999 Big grin

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