In light of all the well-publicized altercations that have taken place recently on board commercial airplanes and inside of air terminals, the timing seems perfect for the opening of a brand-new “private,” concierge-type of airline terminal…for those who can afford to use it.
The mega-upscale facility, called Private Suite, opened its doors for service at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on May 15. Security expert Gavin de Becker, who’s in charge of Private Suite, said, in comparing it to the main terminal, “There they process thousands of people at a time, they’re barking. It’s loud. Here it’s very, very lovely.”
Indeed it is. A special, gated entrance provides access to Private Suite, where up to eight attendants may assist arrivals with luggage, through a security checkpoint, and into one of the 13 suites inside the unit. As you might imagine, the suite experience is ultra-luxurious, with travelers able to avail themselves of a wide variety of amenities, including daybeds, fully-stocked refrigerators, private bathrooms, and much more. Perhaps best of all, when it’s time to actually board their flights, passengers are driven directly across the runway to their planes in BMWs.
The folks behind Private Suite underline perhaps the most significant feature of the service this way: The typical passenger flying out of LAX will take about 2,200 footsteps between car seat to plane seat; with Private Suite, that number is reduced to just 70 steps.
Needless to say, a service like this is very pricey. While purchasing an annual membership ($7,500) can reduce the additional, per-flight cost of using Private Suite, non-members can expect to pay up to $4,000 per flight.
A lot of money, to be sure, but the way things are going these days in the realm of air travel, it’s almost worth it, even if you have to take out a loan to cover the cost.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large