On May 15th, 2017, LAX opened its new service for the wealthy and famous, or for those willing to spend a decent amount of money to fly in style. The Private Suite service is a new terminal located off of Imperial Highway, past the Atlantic Aviation (FBO) area. The new service allows wealthy travelers and executives to avoid crowds and relax in style and comfort while waiting for their flight. The service is also open to celebrities who can also avoid the paparazzi. Although the service is ideal for celebrities looking to avoid the tabloids, only 10% of celebrities make up the members flying through The Private Suite. The new facility cost $22 million to build, but is estimated to generate almost $35 million in revenue within the next nine years.
The new terminal starts off with an exclusive entrance; you must show identification to armed guards before entering. The tall gates make it impossible for paparazzi or even fans with selfie sticks to snap a photo with celebrities. Once you enter, you are escorted inside the private suite, where a team consisting of eight people are assigned to assist you with your baggage and any other requests that you may have. The Private Suite’s website states, “Members spend their pre-flight time in totally private suites, each with its own bathroom, its own food-service pantry, a two-person daybed, and a runway view of aircraft landing and taking off.”Before your flight departs, you are driven in a BMW 7 Series Sedan to your flight and welcomed onboard.
How much is it going to cost to fly in style? For starters, the annual membership is $7,500, and on top of that, each domestic flight out of the terminal costs $2,700, while flying internationally will cost $3,000 for each flight. The plus side: the cost covers up to a group of four people. If you do not want to purchase the annual membership, The Private Suite also offers non-member flights $3,500 for domestic flights and $4,000 for international flights. The cost only covers three people rather than four with the annual membership.
Gavin De Becker, the Chief Executive of the company running the service, stated in an article by the Los Angeles Times that the Private Suite terminal will benefit the airport by decreasing drama and delay from celebrities and VIPs who go through the public terminals. The new luxury terminal can also be used to check in international flight crew and will allow for a much quicker check-in for passengers whose flights are going through the Tom Bradley International Terminal.