The secret VIP terminal at LAX is now public, and this is what it's like
Considering how much I fly (8 different airports in October alone), I'm constantly looking for shortcuts to cut back on travel time—especially LAX. It is literally the worst, and I have intense eye rolls every time I'm there. No, seriously. It's the WORST. While Los Angeles International Airport is undergoing a massive facelift to become part of the 21st century (including a $1.6-billion new terminal), it still takes a good 20 minutes to get OUT of the airport once you're in your car (pick up/drop off points are always congested), there are long security lines (even TSA pre-check), TSA airport staff are so over it, there is never anywhere to sit and it's one of the worst airports for delays when you're flying out. But there's a way to avoid all this, and it's called The Private Suite. I just experienced it this past weekend, and it genuinely blew my mind.
The Private Suite at LAX is a new and very exclusive terminal serving all commercial airlines, and the passenger who uses this service evades the hassles of the airport. Upon approaching LAX, my driver took me to the private terminal that's NOWHERE NEAR the LAX drop off point. The Private Suite entrance is off to the side, so you already avoid that whole congested shitshow.
Once I was past The Private Suite's security gate, I was greeted by a dedicated staff, and escorted to my private suite, which is admittedly nicer than many hotel rooms I've seen. There's WIFI, power outlets, basically a Walgreen's in the private bathroom, booze, drinks, snacks, TV, sofa and floor-to-ceiling window that looks out into the tarmac.
My suite in particular had an enclosed, fully furnished outdoor area, which was perfect for Ruby to chill before our flight. While I comfortably waited in the suite, The Private Suite staff is checking me in for my flight, checking through my luggage and receiving my boarding pass. I never once interacted with Delta check-in.
About 20 minutes before boarding, my staff picked me up, escorted me to a private TSA check point (literally two TSA officials checked me through, and there were NO OTHER passengers there). After being cleared, there was a fridge where I could grab a selection of drinks that were already TSA approved, before I entered my private BMW-7, then driven about 12 minutes through the tarmac directly to the plane. I did not have to go through the airport TSA, wait in any line or walk through the huge airport to the gate. That was the best part. I waited in my BMW outside the plane until I was cleared to board, and I walked up the stairs on the side of the actual Delta plane, greeted by more ground staff and escorted directly onto the plane before they had even begun boarding. I was literally the first one on the plane and in my seat before the passengers had arrived.
Can we talk about this for a second? This is the most VIP airport experience I have ever received anywhere in the US, and it truly is the way celebrities, heads of state and government officials travel if they're flying a commercial airline. I was literally transported directly to and from the aircraft when arriving/departing LAX. Even when I flew into LAX, The Private Suite greeter/staff was literally at the stairs that is immediately to your left, escorted me down into the BMW and I was driven to the suite while they collected my luggage. Let's review how freaking amazing this experience is if you book The Private Suite:
-When I approached LAX, I was dropped off at a private terminal that's nowhere near the departures check in, meaning I avoided all that traffic going to the airport.
-Dedicated staff checked me in (including my luggage) and got me cleared to fly while I waited comfortably in a private suite. I didn't interact with any Delta agents.
-The private suite had floor-to-ceiling windows of the runway (you can watch planes take off), sofa, TV, WIFI, a full bar, a full snack/beverage station with premium snacks (if you want to order food they also have a menu for that), private bathroom with Kiehl's amenities, basically a medicine cabinet with everything you can imagine (from over the counter drugs to toothpaste), chargers, amenities for your flight and more. This was SO much better than waiting at the gate of an airline's VIP lounge for your flight.
-I cleared security in a private TSA area where there were NO OTHER PASSENGERS.
-20 minutes before boarding, my staff drove me in a private BMW across the tarmac, directly to the plane. I boarded the plane through the back steps, and I was the first on the flight, before they had begun boarding at the gate.
The Private Suite basically cut all the fat from my travel journey, eliminating the stress and avoiding the congestion. The service is also available for international flights (but if you do so, you give up Duty-Free Shopping). On average, it takes about 2,000 steps from the car seat to the plane seat at LAX but with members of The Private Suite, it's just 70 steps. The cost of this service is $3,500 for domestic flights, which covers up to three passengers, and $4,000 for international flights, also covering up to three passengers. You can sign up for an annual membership and pay about $1,000 lower rates. If you travel often, you will experience a sort of joy and relief you've never felt at LAX using The Private Suite.
I'm pretty spoiled after this exclusive experience. It was so mind blowing and convenient, every penny I earn will now go toward being a member considering how often I fly through LAX. This is the only one of its kind in our country, so it's amazing to see the experience offered.. I've had these same VIP services at international airports throughout the world, but the suites are not crazy amazing, and you don't always get picked up right at the plane (but they do pick you up outside the plane airbridge). The Private Suite is very exclusive, and I know it's going to be HUGE considering the level of luxury, service and privilege passengers will receive at LAX (LA is brimming with celebrities it would appeal to). To have this type of service is almost unheard of (it's not easy getting these kinds of permits at airports), but it's officially a reality at LAX. I never thought I'd say it, but I can't wait to fly through LAX again!!!