Are The New LAX 'Luxury Terminal' Perks Really Worth $7,500 A Year?
Air travel has become so déclassé lately, what with all the casual sexism and human rights abuses. Now, celebrities and captains of industry (or, at least, the ones who can't afford to fly private) can avoid rubbing elbows with the hoi polloi of the skies at LAX's new luxury terminal, which consists of 12 private suites. For a service intended to help its customers escape the limelight, the $22-million-dollar facility—owned and operated by the private security firm Gavin de Becker and Associates, and set to open on May 15—has attracted more than its share of media attention. Modeled after a similar service at London's Heathrow Airport, the LAX "Private Suite" is the first of its kind in the U.S., reports BusinessInsider. Customers will be whisked from terminal to flight in the anonymous comfort of a BMW, Conde Nast Traveler reports, thus reducing the typical 2,200-step journey from car seat to plane seat to just 70 steps. (Because everybody knows walking is for suckers.)
Membership will set you back $7,500 a year, plus $2,700 for each domestic flight or $3,000 for each international flight—for that kind of money, it's reasonable to expect some pretty luxurious amenities, but this L.A. Times rundown makes the terminal's perks sound kind of...meh. Here's a roundup of perks inside the "Private Suite"—you decide for yourself whether they're worth the money.
A daybed. That sounds nice.
A flatscreen TV. Sure.
A food pantry stocked with nuts, jelly beans, peanuts and chocolate-covered almonds, among other snacks. Unless the "other snacks" in question are Sugarfish toro rolls hand-fed to you by your enemies, this doesn't sound like a $7,500-worthy spread.
A refrigerator stocked with soft drinks and alcoholic drinks. You can get these in coach!
A private bathroom stocked with deodorant, aspirin, chapstick and mouthwash. Or you could just...pack deodorant, aspirin, chapstick and mouthwash.
A room for infants with a changing table and bottle warmer. This kind of sounds like a service that should be available in all terminals/on all flights, but okay.
A room for Middle Eastern clients with prayer mats, a Koran and medjool dates. In an ideal world, interfaith prayer rooms at standard airport terminals would offer these, too.
To recap: $7,500 a year will basically buy you moderate comfort, food and basic amenities, and a modicum of family-friendly services/religious tolerance.