Skift Take

Today's luxury isn't gold plated doodads, it's choice, convenience, and the power to choose experiences.

The Skift New Luxury newsletter is our weekly newsletter focused on the business of selling luxury travel, the people and companies creating and selling experiences, emerging trends, and the changing consumer habits around the sector. We’ll keep in mind the needs of the specialist travel agents who sell these products as well as the sophisticated consumers who shop for them.

Skift has expanded its scope of coverage into various sectors of travel, and we are now looking at the business of modern luxury travel.
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For the latest look at luxury, we talked to two different CEOs who have their own unique take on what drives luxury travelers now. Virtuoso CEO Matthew Upchurch thinks (a lot) about who modern consumers are changing and how both his company and the industry as a whole can be right where the consumer is when they are needed most. And he’s not afraid to change how he does business to make this happen.

We also talk to the CEO of JetSuite, who is taking what he learned at JetBlue and from the habits of private jet passengers to create a better experience for flyers who have would like the convenience of private at prices that are closer to commercial. Can you have champagne service at beer prices? We’ll see.

— Jason Clampet, Editor-in-Chief

Interview: Virtuoso Travel CEO on the Future of the New Luxury Traveler

Wealthy travelers define luxury in many different ways, based on who they’re traveling with and why. However, there is consensus in terms of the growing demand for more human connectedness and meaningful experiences for both adults and children.

The future of luxury travel revolves around the fluidity of the digitally-connected consumer mindset, who is comfortable fluctuating between a wide spectrum of accommodations and experiences depending on the context.

A Belmond train traveling through Scotland.

Old School Train Travel Is Being Positioned as New School Luxury

As with river cruising, luxury train travel allows travelers to take their luxury with them from place to place, ensuring the same quality of lodging, no matter the locale.

The Trans-Siberian Railway, the Blue Train, and the Orient Express are among the usual suspects when it comes to naming the top train experiences in the world. But during the past few years, there’s been a spate of growth on the rails, with new destinations being primed with a coat of classic varnish.

CEO Interview: JetSuite Dreams of Bringing a Private Jet-Style Experience to the Masses

Last year, JetSuite, a Southern California-based private jet operator, said it was buying 10 planes to start a business that operates more like a traditional commericial airline.

It’s called JetSuiteX, and it’s been flying for about a year. JetSuite has five airplanes, and they generally fly from California two airports — Burbank, near Los Angeles, and Concord, near Berkeley. Besides flying between the two airports, JetSuiteX destinations include Bozeman, Montana, and Las Vegas.

The Private Suite at Los Angeles International Airport.

Los Angeles Airport Created a Celeb-Friendly, Paparazzi-Free Terminal

Sorry, paparazzi. Celebrities who are sick of being stalked by photographers at Los Angeles International Airport can now find some privacy — not to mention luxury — at a new terminal.

The facility called the Private Suite opened Monday and offers an exclusive entrance, one-on-one security screening and plush lounges. And privileged travelers get a private car ride across the tarmac to and from the aircraft, head-of-state style.

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Tags: luxury

Photo credit: JetSuiteX operates like a private jet company at prices more like commercial ones. JetSuiteX

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