For some, flying can be a stressful, fraught affair. However, others—particularly travelers with an elevated cash or points budget—are fortunate enough to experience a luxurious version of commercial air travel that’s often hidden from public view.
That begins with a private and posh pre-flight experience. The hours before boarding may include sipping on flutes of Krug Grande Cuvée, nibbling on blinis topped with caviar and crème fraîche, or lying down for a facial at the in-lounge spa, all before being chauffeured directly to the plane. Naturally, this all takes place behind closed doors, seemingly a world away from the rest of the airport.
While airport lounges in the US have increasingly become democratized (and sometimes, overcrowded), there are select pre-departure spaces that remain coveted, exclusive sanctuaries. From cabanas with soaking bathtubs to separate terminals hidden away from the masses, these luxurious offerings are the closest you can get to flying private—without your own jet. Below, see seven of the world’s best airport lounges for travelers seeking ultimate privacy and peace of mind.