It’s the travel story of the summer: Air travel and airports around the world are a mess. The storyline takes place everywhere, from Europe and Africa to the Middle East and North America. It’s a season of delays, canceled and overbooked flights, lost luggage and overwhelmed terminals, with check-in, security and immigration lines that can go on for hours.
There’s no silver bullet for business travelers hoping to avoid chaos altogether, but airport concierge services promise to offer some relief. A growing staple in high-end travel circles, these concierges are usually booked by private companies, although some airports and airlines offer their version of concierge services. Concierges greet VIP flyers at the door of their planes when they disembark, or on the sidewalk when they stop at a terminal. They then quickly follow these passengers through security, customs and immigration, help them with their luggage and escort them out of the airport or to their planes.
Some airport concierge companies such as Rolzo, based in London, and Royal Airport Concierge, based in Bethesda, MD, offer ground transfers in addition to airport service, and all of the big players in the market have their own distinctive touch, qu whether it’s access to more airports than competitors or trained staff to deal with passengers with disabilities.
In the event of a flight delay, Concierges wait with passengers until they board, they are paramount during tight connections when too long queues or finding the right gate or terminal can mean a missed flight .
Luxury travel advisors are familiar with today’s airport environment. Andrew Steinberg, the founder of travel agency Modern Travel, says he doesn’t let his customers fly without the service. “With the unpredictability happening more and more these days, an airport concierge has become an essential, not an option,” he says. “The service takes a lot of the stress out of travel, and travel has never been more stressful.”
Los Angeles-based event producer Justin Wagner relies on Rolzo for many of his trips, including recent visits to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and London, where he flew to Heathrow. “I was out of Heathrow in 25 minutes with Rolzo and literally whisked straight to my car waiting for me at the curb,” he says. “On my previous trips to Heathrow it has taken me over an hour, but this time I had the experience of going through a private aviation terminal.”
Airport concierge companies are reporting an increase in business despite their prices, which can range from US$250 to US$600 per person. Tampa-based Universal Sky now responds to an average of 100 requests a day worldwide, up from 25 before the pandemic and 50 a year ago, according to co-founder and co-owner Elena Ermolenko.
Royal Airport Concierge is currently receiving between 300 and 500 reservations per day, compared to 150 before the pandemic. “It’s like the world has gone wild with so many people traveling and more airport headaches than ever before,” says co-founder Ron Garfinkel. “Our business stopped when the world stopped, but now we are struggling to find enough manpower to meet the demand.”
Below are five airport concierge services that low-stress travelers might consider booking for their next trip:
Available at approximately 150 airports, Universal Sky offers both a VIP Meet and Greet arrival and departure service where hostesses escort passengers from the curb to the gate, from the plane to the curb or from a flight to the other. Not all airports grant skip-the-line access to concierge companies, but Universal Sky co-founder Ermolenko says his guests have personal relationships with the immigration officers they exploit to bring their customers on the front line. Prices from US$375 for two people.
Founded in 2018, Rolzo markets itself as a full-service concierge company with exceptional customer service around the clock. Available at over 1,000 airports, concierges get travelers through the final leg of their airport journeys in 20-30 minutes. Travelers can also book car transfers, which are offered in the latest model car demos such as Maybach and Rolls Royce.
Delta VIP Select
Delta VIP Select is a concierge program that travelers can’t book, and Delta offers few details about it. As part of a partnership with Porsche, the airline’s Elite Services team greets selected top customers at the aircraft gate and escorts them to a waiting car that transfers them directly to their doorstep. correspondence. It is available at eight airports, including JFK and LaGuardia in New York and Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta. Free for some passengers.
Royal Airport Concierge
Founded in 2006, Royal Airport Concierge is one of the oldest airport VIP services and offers door-to-door service from plane to car transfers. Co-founder Garfinkel says the company has staff who are familiar with catering for passengers with disabilities, including children with autism spectrum disorders, and for those who need a wheelchair.
Available at Los Angeles International Airport, with Atlanta debuting this fall, PS is a private airport terminal for commercial flights. PS offers several membership and pricing models, offering private security and customs screening and on-site immigration. Members are driven directly to their planes in a BMW and have access to amenities such as 12 private suites, premium cuisine and spa treatments. PS Direct is perhaps the best perk of all: members are met at the door of their plane and driven to their home or hotel in a BMW 7 Series Sedan without going through the airport. PS delivers their luggage to them wherever they are. All-Access membership starts at $4,850 per year for up to four travelers.
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