The waiting room. Photo courtesy of HBI.
In London, there are two kinds of travelers: those who arrive at Heathrow an hour early to shop, and those who zip straight to the gate. For the latter group, airport travel just got a lot more luxe. For the first time, the international hub will offer Heathrow By Invitation, a service formerly exclusive to kings, queens and heads of state. For a single fee, individuals or groups of up to six may get from ground to air without ever seeing another passenger, much less the paparazzi. Guests arrive at a private entrance and are escorted to a VIP lounge, where they can sit back in Eames chairs and sip refreshments. The typical airport rigmarole—check-in, luggage drop-off and security clearance—takes place in private. When it's time for takeoff, a limousine will drive the group to the aircraft for direct boarding. Upon arrival, VIP passengers will receive their luggage directly and may arrange onward travel by helicopter or limousine. It is, quite literally, the royal treatment. $2,370 plus tax per one-way journey for up to six passengers; heathrowbyinvitation.com.
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