NEW YORK -- Cutting lines at airports used to be only for the rich, famous or very frequent fliers. But then airlines started granting fast-track access to anybody with the right credit card or who was willing to shell out a few extra dollars.Now, with the masses clogging up special security and boarding lanes, true VIPs are saying: Get me away from this chaos. And the airlines are listening.Just as they've made first class more enjoyable with new seats, tastier meals and bigger TVs, airlines are focusing on easing the misery of airports for their highest-paying customers and giving them a truly elite experience.At a growing number of airports, special agents will meet these celebrities, high-powered executives and wealthy vacationers at the curb and will privately escort them from check-in to security to boarding.Fort Worth-based American Airlines built a private check-in lobby in Los Angeles for VIPs who are greeted by name, given preprinted boarding passes and then whisked by elevator to the front of the security line. This "Flagship" check-in will be coming to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport this year. Last month, American showed off a Priority Check-In area at the newly renovated portion of DFW's Terminal A, where first-class and elite-status passengers get special treatment.Once past security, the VIPs aren't left to fend for themselves in crowded terminals. Instead, Delta's new Sky Club in New York includes a hidden lounge-within-a-lounge with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline. And in Atlanta, Delta will drive some VIPs from one plane to another in a Porsche. There is no need to ever enter the terminal.The special treatment continues at boarding.Most passengers jockey to get on the plane first to find a spot for their carry-on luggage. But celebrities like to be the last in their seats to avoid passengers asking for autographs as they trek through first class on the way to the rear of the plane. Airlines make sure that last-second boarding is as smooth as possible."We even do things like reserve overhead bin space for them," said Ranjan Goswami, who oversees West Coast sales for Delta Air Lines.American is going one step further and reconfiguring jet bridges to allow boarding through the second door on some planes. That means coach passengers will no longer traipse through first class on transcontinental flights.In many ways, airlines are adding these extreme VIP services to fix a problem they have created for themselves. Frequent fliers find dedicated security lines packed as airlines try to squeeze out every dollar from passengers. Boarding has become a free-for-all as passengers fight for overhead bin space, a situation created when the airlines started charging $25 extra to check suitcases.There is a lot of money on the line. At big airlines like American, 70 percent of the revenue comes from 20 percent of its customers.A one-way transcontinental business-class seat bought at the last minute can cost more than $2,500. In contrast, a nonrefundable ticket in coach booked at least 21 days in advance might cost $159."L.A.-New York is the pearl of domestic flying," airline analyst Bob Harrell says. "Airlines are fighting tooth and nail to get more than their share of passengers, particularly in the front of the plane."American's VIP check-in was originally designed to shield celebrities from L.A. paparazzi. But there was another benefit: Fliers found themselves avoiding the hassle of the airport. The concept has since been expanded to Miami and is coming this year to Chicago, DFW and New York.But it's not just for celebrities. Anybody can pay for the service and a chance to feel like a star -- at least for a few hours.American's program, called Five Star Service, costs $125 to $275 for the first passenger, depending on the airport. Each additional adult costs $75; children cost $50 extra. These fees are in addition to the price of a ticket.