“Mr. Ott, our PS @ LAX agent in touch with Virgin Atlantic has advised that they’d love for you to sit in the BMW for a few more minutes until the rest of the plane has boarded, so you won’t have anyone walk past you, and the plane will be ready to push back once you’re on board, for ultimate comfort”.
Of course, I could’ve boarded first, if I wanted to. But who wants to spend an extra second on a plane these days?!
When the Private Suite launched at LAX, the concept was absolutely brilliant, and incredibly simple. Basically, take everything people hate about the airport out of the airport experience, but still allow them to travel anywhere they want, on a commercial flight. Now, as PS @ LAX, it’s a jumbo jet sized runways length better.
The initial concept accomplished so much in transforming the US air travel experience, but for a place aiming for the epitome of refinement, and the intelligentsia that come with it, the little details of “perfection” were missing.
Yeah, the nuts and bolts of the experience, like a private BMW chauffeuring you directly from a private terminal to the steps of your flight at the perfect moment were great, but as Tom Petty once famously said, waiting was still the “hardest part”.
On a recent departure from LAX, I gave PS @ LAX another whirl, and to say it was an improvement would be like saying Lebron is still a decent ball player. The level was already so high, but it’s an experience which now speaks to each PS @ LAX guest on a remarkably impressive level.
The New PS @ LAX
Formerly The Private Suite, PS @ LAX is under “new management”, as one might say, and they’re doing a damn good job so far. With intriguing Amex collabs underway, it’s hard to keep up with all that’s going on, but PS @ LAX is quickly becoming something more than just one of the most exciting airport spaces in America.
The all out ‘wow factor’ is still there, like the big security gate which lets you know you’re entering an incredibly secured facility, as are the earpieces on the PS @ LAX team members, which would have you believe you’ve fallen asleep and woken up as a world leader.
But what’s new is an experience designed to make the airport feel anything but – where you’re the only thing that matters, and what you’d expect at home, is fair game to expect before a flight too. These hallowed private spaces have received quite a serious upgrade, and the perks have too.
In case the whole concept is new to you, here’s a brief catch up on how PS @ LAX works. If you already know the drill, just keep scrolling down to see what’s new about the experience, because quite a lot is.
PS @ LAX Departures
International or domestic, if you’re hoping to never see a crowd, PS @ LAX allows you to skip the airport terminals entirely, instead heading to the other side of the airport, where something far more joyous awaits.
PS @ LAX allows you to bypass the terminals on the other side of LAX, and instead lay refuge in one of the Private Suites at their secured facility, where you’ll wait until the perfect moment to board, often via the steps of the plane.
You won’t even see anyone else enjoying the facility, unless you specifically arrange it with the other person. Even TSA security is timed so that two people, even on the same flight, won’t meet.
Privacy is everything here, and it’s why people pay big bucks.
The PS @ LAX team drives any luggage across to the terminals and checks in on your behalf, even grabbing boarding passes and attempting to fulfill any requests for check in, like extra legroom, first row, etc.
When it’s time “to go”, based on the observation of the dedicated “advance team” in the terminal, which keeps regular tabs with airline staff to know when the perfect time for you to board might be, an agent gives you a 5 minutes heads up in your suite, then whisks you through their private PS @ LAX – TSA facility.
Within minutes, you’re in a car, usually a brand new BMW 7 series, on your way across the airfield to your plane. An agent is waiting to assist with any luggage and tailored requests, like being last on, are all part of the magic.
PS @ LAX Arrivals
No matter the cabin you arrived in, the mad dash to be first through immigration is never fun. Even for domestic arrivals, the chaos of baggage claim and the masses from all angles isn’t either.
So, naturally, PS @ LAX has someone waiting for you at the door of the plane, ready to immediately whisk you out of the terminal, to a facility guaranteed to have no one in line, and where no wandering eyes can be found anywhere.
Yes, even US immigration is handled privately, at the dedicated facility, where you’re the only person in line. Stamp, boom, happy time. Maybe even a glass of wine.
For domestic arrivals, the new service offers something completely over the top as well, where the car you’re picked up in from the plane drives you directly to where you want to go, luggage and all! If you like, of course. You’re welcome to use the suites too.
Once picked up at the plane by the BMW, your bags are delivered to the suite, where you can refresh, recharge, enjoy the top shelf amenities and prepare for whatever life brings.
What’s New @ PS LAX: So Much
If one was to be hyper critical, it could be said that the old Private Suite experience thought of everything as transportation, and not as a guest experience. Like I said, the cars were cool, the agents super professional and all that – but the suites themselves were quite… sterile. Waiting rooms to the stars.
Safe colors, standard seating arrangements. It’s all “first world problems” amazing s#!t to be sure, but if you were spending a few hours killing time before a flight, and paying for the privilege, it felt just like an extremely private airport lounge with a cool ride to the plane, not a ‘home away from home’ with energy and pizazz.
Now, the suites exude vibrance. Colors feel more like a Swoon design studio from London, with chic accents and an impressive original art collection, largely featuring LA area artists.
To be more specific, Cliff Fong, the designer to the stars, helmed the renewal. Also fun fact; many of the gorgeous new chairs are the work of Vladimir Kagan, whose work is so hard to get a hold of, it had to be sourced from locations all around LA, not all of them public. Day beds replaced boring seats and every detail down to the stationary reflect the notion that the team is there for Y-O-U. Not anyone else.
Our daughter, Olive, received the most lovely and heartfelt note from the PS team, with a few children’s books and games to assist in the 10 hour journey back to London, including the Giving Tree, a book I’d forgotten since childhood, which is dear to my heart.
It didn’t feel transactional, it felt personalized and wonderful. I’m all about gestures, and this new PS @ LAX experience seems to share that notion.
Little things, which can be quite big things, are now all part of the joys. Little amenities stocked specifically for our one year old just gave such a sense of ease. The team will happily detail your car if you’re parking on site, so that it’s fresh upon return. Massages and other delights can be arranged with ease.
Adding intrigue though, I couldn’t help but ask about what was happening across the parking lot, where an impressive new structure was being erected. Apparently, PS @ LAX is working on a new offering for Amex Centurion “Black Card” holders, which will offer a curated experience, including a full on kitchen run by the acclaimed LA stalwart, h.wood group.
The food is all part of this continued renewal of an already impressive space, where takeout menus are being replaced with purpose driven seasonal menus to cater to all guest tastes, ASAP.
After crushing some Jon & Vinny’s spicy fusilli before arrival at PS @ LAX, I didn’t quite manage to scarf any down on this trip, but inevitably will in the future.
Speaking of the future, there’s talk that the long rumored PS @ LAX experience may soon welcome a PS @ JFK arm, bringing this unrivaled experience in commercial travel luxury to the East Coast, as well.
If it’s anything like the new PS @ LAX, it’ll be hard to not constantly find ways to justify the expense. Hot tip: airlines sometimes have offers to try it out at a discount!
For more information and pricing, check out PS @ LAX.
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