From screaming children to $18 Old Fashioneds to the horror show that is TSA security, being stuck at the airport is a special kind of torture. Of course, some well-heeled gentlemen enjoy a level of air travel luxury that most of us have never heard of, let along personally experienced. For those traveling elite, there is The Private Suite LAX.
The Private Suite promises the sort of experience typically reserved for traveling heads of state, Russian oil tycoons, and Beyonce. Members enter the airport through a special access gate which leads to a private compound located on the edge of the runway at Los Angeles International Airport. Inside, eight staffers are on-hand to cater to members’ every whim, from dining to sleeping to travel to medical.
Each of the 10 individual luxury suites accommodates up to four guests. Every space is awash in modern, high-end conveniences including a gourmet food and beverage pantry, complimentary spa services (including in-suite massages, haircuts, and manicures), and free, unlimited detailing of personal cars while parked at LAX. Executives looking to get busy have access to a video conference suite and concierge doctor visits can be arranged for anyone seeking medical advice. For members keen to do nothing at all, a private two-person daybed provides a place to nap while enjoying a runway view of the planes landing and taking off outside.
Because The Private Suite is situated adjacent the runways at LAX, the processes of baggage handling, clearing TSA security, and physically getting from car to plane are almost invisible. The company’s website claims, “It typically takes 2,200 footsteps from car seat to plane seat. For members of The Private Suite, it’s 70 footsteps. And they are all peaceful footsteps.” Yes, life is short — conserve your footsteps. At boarding time, members and their luggage are chauffeured via a BMW 7 Series sedan across the tarmac directly to their aircraft ahead of every other passenger.
While similar concepts exist in Frankfurt and Heathrow, The Private Suite presents the first such VIP air travel experience in the U.S. Annual memberships are available for $4,500, which includes access for the primary member and three immediate family members. That fee only buys members the “privilege” of access to the suite; actual use of the suite requires additional per-trip fees of $2,700 for one-way domestic flights or $3,000 for one-way international flights. Non-members skip the annual fee (and access to most of The Private Suite’s best perks) but pay a higher per-use premium: $3,500 for domestic one-way flights and $4,000 for international one-way travel. But, hey, at least you can now skate through the airport with nary a scuff on your fancy Chelsea boots.