Los Angeles’ VIP terminal opens

'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'

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The Independent US

Los Angeles airport has opened a new terminal for the mega-rich, where guests can enjoy a private check-in and a massage.

The VIP terminal is so exclusive that no information is made available about it on Los Angeles’ airport main website but a separate site has been created for what has been dubbed “The Private Suite”. 

The $22m purpose-built facility allows celebrities to transform their flight into a relaxing experience and board their plane in absolute peace and quiet, away from the flash of paparazzi. 

Guests do not have to line up at ticket counters, check their baggage in or walk across the airport to their gates. 

Instead they will be driven to and from their aeroplane in a private BMW and can spend their time relaxing in one of the luxury suites. 

On its website, Gavin de Becker & Associates, which operates the terminal, say excursions through Los Angeles airport can be stressful. 

“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,” the website reads. 

The experience seems to be made even more enjoyable because everyone else has to queue through security, battle with heavy language, and hike through the air terminal to get to the boarding gates. 

(The Private Suite )

The Private Suite, which is due to open on Monday, creates a new class of travellers. 

Each guest spends their pre-flight time in one of the 13 private suites, which all have their own bathroom, a double bed, snacks and drinks, menus of toys for children and views of the planes on the runway. 

A team of eight members of staff are assigned to each guest to accompany visitors all along their journey through the airport and manage special requests, such as asking for a charger or even replacement clothes including dresses, shirts, socks, belt and shoes. 

When it is time to leave, passengers are first led to “the gallery”, or a mini-terminal, where art installations are on sale, before boarding a car and being driven straight to their plane. 

Among those expected to use the suite are celebrities trying to avoid paparazzi and some of the world’s top CEO and business leaders. 

But the luxury of trouble-free travel comes at a price. Fees range between $2,700 and $4,000 per visit for group of three to four people.

Regular guests will be encouraged to pay the $7,500 annual membership fee, for additional perks such as a massage or a complimentary manicure and makeup service before the flight.

:: Update 19/05/17: An earlier version of this article referred to a claim made by The Guardian that VIP guests could watch a screen showing travellers in the airport’s main terminals going through the routine hassle of travel and queuing in long lines in a packed terminal. This claim was incorrect. The screen showed a compilation of clips culled from YouTube, rather than a live feed to the main public terminal. Furthermore, the screen had been installed temporarily for The Guardian’s visit and was not for permanent public display. We have therefore removed all references to the screen from this article.