When the Private Suite at LAX opened in 2017, its luxe accommodations and exclusive amenities—like a fully private TSA and customs checkpoint—were the envy of all but the few fliers who could shell out the starting price of $3,250 per flight that it costs members to reserve the lavish space.
But now the Private Suite is making its signature opulent air travel experience accessible to more travelers, with The Salon at PS: a gorgeous adults-only lounge, full-service bar, and outdoor patio that opened at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday.
The Salon offers the same rarefied feel, and ability to avoid the usual airport congestion, but at a fraction of the cost: $695 for a one-way experience (to use either before or after your flight). The new semi-private lounge "is great for the solo traveler, the business traveler, or anyone who prefers socializing over privacy,” says Joshua Gausman, Co-CEO of Private Suite at LAX, which in 2020 was rebranded to simply PS.
With the nearly $700 price tag comes all the perks of the suites, such as showers, checked baggage service, semi-private TSA and customs checkpoints, and perhaps the most thrilling feature of all—a ride in a chauffeured white BMW or SUV to the plane on the runway. From there, a PS agent escorts you onto the plane with no waiting at the gate nor jet bridge.
But just because The Salon is not part of the full suite experience, doesn’t mean it’s anything like an ordinary airport lounge. Situated in a revamped building across from the original suites, The Salon resembles a boutique hotel lobby decorated with curated artwork and anchored by a long swanky bar serving cocktails and California cuisine from L.A.’s The h.wood Group. Plush armchairs and sofas for up to 40 travelers fill out the space, which also includes an ample-sized outdoor terrace.
Interior designer Cliff Fong, who is well-known for his work on Hollywood homes, conceptualized the modern space to feel more like a Soho House or other private club—a place you would frequent without an imminent flight on your schedule.
“The look and feel fuses our favorite elements of a social club with bespoke accents found in a glamorous residential living room,” Fong says. “Above all, we wanted people to forget they were at the airport so they could fully experience the ease and seamlessness of PS through the Salon’s ambiance.”
Indeed, guests are asked to store their carry-ons at the entrance to PS rather than wheel them into the lounge, thereby avoiding that crowded airport lounge feel. And unlike airport lounges which are typically only for departures, The Salon at PS can be used after you land back at LAX. The car will pick you up directly from the plane, then drive you back to The Salon where you can rest and have a drink as your bags are pulled off the aircraft and delivered to you.
Adding to the members-only feel, both PS and The Salon offer annual memberships, although members still need to pay for every time they use the services: Entry to the Salon is $695 per person per use, for members and non-members alike. Members, who pay $4,500 per year on top of the cost per use, get access to perks like complimentary parking for two nights, complimentary vehicle detailing, and complimentary checked luggage every time they visit. While these prices are steep, less crowded travel options are ever-more appealing, especially as the pandemic continues. According to a recent report from American Express Global Travel, 75 percent of travelers say that ultimate privacy is becoming a sought-after feature of luxury travel.
Which is why PS has its sights set on expanding its private suites and semi-private Salon to other airports. Locations at Miami and New York's JFK are already in the works, as well as potential other airports with high volumes of international traffic and passengers seeking expedited customs processing, says Gausman. Partnerships with airlines that don’t have lounges are also being explored.
Yet while the experiences may vary slightly from location to location and the size of The Salon may differ, Gausman said the PS thrill will be the same, including the guest favorite: the chauffeured ride to the plane. “The airfield transportation directly to your aircraft door is key to the PS experience, and that will be part of our service wherever we are,” he said.
This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date.
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler