February 9, 2022
Do celebrities travel with bodyguards?
This depends on several factors, not least of all your definition of a celebrity, however, in the main when we talk about celebrities, we are referring to movie actors, musicians, sportsmen and women politicians and TV personalities that are more likely to have a need for personal protection.
One of the biggest challenges for celebrities is travel. Whilst it is important to have a good rapport with your fans, it can also be very difficult to get where you are going with fans stopping you for autographs and photos continuously.
On top of that, the risk of an incident in a crowded space becomes much greater – especially when you consider places you need to pass through for travel, like airports.
That’s why most leading celebrities in the world will travel with at least one bodyguard or possibly a team depending on the size of their travelling party.
How do celebrities travel through major airports?
Given the amount of attention celebrities receive, one of the primary roles of the security team is to restrict fan access, especially in public places.
This, however, is not always straightforward, especially in crowded places like airports.
Interestingly, airports are helping to cater for the issues faced, not only by celebrities but also those wanting to travel extremely privately, by creating private terminals in major airports around the world.
In a 2019 post, Chrissy Teigen let fans into a secret when it comes to airport travel when responding to a fan:
there is a terminal a mile from the airport that you pay membership for. they do the same security privately and take you to the plane in a car. I know. I know. https://t.co/BtFaTBaMKh— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) December 9, 2019
When asked how celebrities travel on planes, Teigen responded by saying that, “There is a terminal a mile from the airport that you pay membership for. They do the same security privately and take you to the plane in a car,” she commented, adding “I know. I know.”
This makes a lot of sense, both from a privacy and a security perspective both for the individuals and for the airports themselves. Whilst the celebrities may be trying to avoid the crowds, it’s also important for airport security teams that people don’t congregate in one place and having somebody famous in the main terminal can certainly have this effect.
It is believed many airports around the world offer some sort of private VIP service. Two of the most famous are located at Los Angeles’ LAX Airport and at London Heathrow.
At LAX, The Private Suite is a luxury – and paparazzi free – terminal that opened in 2017. Instead of having to wait in long lines or walk to find their airport gate, members of the VIP service have access to their own private suite with a bathroom and two-person day-bed as well as their own private food pantry and views of the runway.
Instead of having to go through security screening like everyone else, the VIP terminal employs its own TSA screening team as well as a team of people to ensure every need is catered for.
Heathrow’s VIP service is available to anyone who is travelling in business or first class and includes a private chauffeur service, private lounges, a private butler as well as Michelin-star dining.
These services, whilst not cheap, are helping celebrities to travel around the globe whilst minimising the potential security threats in busy and crowded airports.
But do they still travel with a bodyguard?
Despite the increased privacy opportunities when travelling internationally, most celebrities will still travel with their security personnel no matter where they are going.
Celebrity bodyguards are sometimes as famous as the people they are paid to protect thanks to the public profile their clients enjoy.
Huge stars from the music and movie industry are well-known for their personal protection detail. Beyonce and Jay-Z have been subjected to a number of fan incidents and during one tour, an incident with a drunk fan making his way onto stage led to them increasing their security detail for that tour to 500, with 300 placed in the crowd and more watching the stage.
Outside of tour life, they surround themselves with three bodyguards to protect themselves and their daughter.
It is not uncommon for celebrities to have multiple bodyguards around them when they are out in public but reduce that team when they are travelling and rely on local security support in the country they are travelling to.
Most celebrities, however, will travel with a bodyguard or personal protection, whether they are travelling domestically or internationally.
How does The Chivalry Group fit in?
At The Chivalry Group, we work with a wide range of celebrities and VIPs to provide protection services around the world. Whilst we do maintain some retained clients, we also provide support for visiting celebrities, especially here in New Zealand and Australia where we are based.
We have completed hundreds of operations for many of the most recognisable and important individuals in the world. These have included international tours with the world’s biggest musicians and tours with international sports teams from different countries attending multiple world cup events.
Our knowledge of the local markets, especially in New Zealand and Australia, enables us to liaise with existing security teams to provide them with on-the-ground support when it comes to local security coordination, operational planning, logistics and travel assistance, media liaison and more.