For anyone who has ever traveled to or from Los Angeles, the idea of having to fly in or out of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is enough to trigger the worst case of PTSD known to man.
However, if you're a millionaire, you can relax; you will soon be able to forget the stress of an airport known for its logistical issues.
With a shiny new private terminal for the mega-rich and the world famous — and infamous — LAX will now offer the elite only the best while the rest of us mortals will continue to endure high-stress situations while trying to get to our destination, The Guardian reports.
Elite travelers reach this exclusive terminal, known as Private Suite, via the Imperial Highway. Through a discreet turn-off, the fashionable traveler is greeted by armed guards for an identity check. Once it's been confirmed the traveler does, indeed, belong with the rich and famous, a button is pressed and gray gates are then opened.
Inside, travelers are given access to a world of perfect privacy where they enjoy beds with comforters, a variety of chocolates and jelly beans that would put Willy Wonka to shame, and even massages.
As the traveler sips Napa Valley cabernet, he may also get a kick out of watching desperate travelers suffer outside in the real world on one of the private terminal's many iPads. And if he spills some wine, he may simply buzz guest services and a man in a blazer will bring him a variety of Calvin Klein, Banana Republic, and Anne Klein pieces to choose from.
According to Gavin de Becker, who runs Private Suite, what makes the exclusive terminal so special is that it's “lovely, very lovely.”
Outside of Private Suite, he told reports, “they process thousands of people at a time, they’re barking. It’s loud.”
Still, de Becker insists that the goal here is not luxury, but to boost convenience and to escape the hassle of modern air travel.
“The real purpose here is logistics,” he said.
The first of its kind in the United States, Private Suite cost $22 million, and it may now give the elite the treatment they have always been dying to pay for so they may further distance themselves from reality.
To get access to the perfect “logistics,” members of the elite must pay an annual membership of $7,500. For every domestic flight, they pay an extra $2,700; and for every international flight, they pay $3,000. This additional cost allows up to three people to travel using the exclusive terminal.
Once at Private Suite, guests are directed to one of the 13 suites where children get menus of toys and Muslim travelers get their own prayer mats. As they enjoy their time or simply relax, another man in blazer is tasked with approaching guests once it's time to leave. As a server checks in their luggage for them, they enter the “gallery” where rotating art installations are displayed and where a TSA agent screens them and their companions. Once they're ready, a BMW takes them to their plane.
Calling it a “voluntary tax on the wealthy,” de Becker said LAX will win big with Private Suite, giving the airport $34 million in revenue over the next nine years. With this type of money, the airport could even invest in becoming somewhat decent to the other millions who pass through it regularly.
With a plan like this, de Becker told reporters, even Sen. Bernie Sanders would approve of the idea.
“I love [him],” he added.
Let's hope he's right, and that in no time, we are able to see this money flowing around, helping to transform LAX into a place where everyone is treated properly. However, we can't help but have our doubts about whether or not that's actually going to happen.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters