If you're looking for the ultimate airport VIP experience, look no further than "Heathrow by Invitation" at London's busiest airport.
For a mere GBP1,500 (about $2,400), you can experience what was once only reserved for dignitaries and heads of state. The service offers arriving, departing, or connecting passengers access to the Windsor Suite at Terminal 5 — an exclusive and private lounge complex complete with airport security and immigration facilities.
For those arriving at Heathrow, passengers electing the service will be greeted at their aircraft and chauffer-driven to the lounge where customs and immigration checks are performed while waiting for their bags to be delivered.
Departing and connecting passengers also enjoy the same level of service in an area akin to a hotel suite with comfortable sofas, televisions, internet access, iPads and snack and beverage selections. The only thing missing is shower facilities.
Reservations must be booked at least 24 hours in advance on a dedicated website and up to six people are allowed to accompany the traveling passenger.
I've actually experienced a similar level of service previously, but it was included with my first class ticket.
Lufthansa offers first class travelers a totally separate terminal in Frankfurt complete with private security, immigration, duty free shopping, a restaurant, cigar lounge and private full bathrooms with bathtubs and showers. When it came time to board my flight to Bangkok, I was driven in a private Mercedes to my aircraft a mere 10 minutes before departure time.
Now that is a true first class experience!