The Leading Hotels of the World: Helping you Skip Lines in Style Since 2012
We’re going to try something new here. I want you to close your eyes. Actually, scratch that. Reading is kind of a big part of this exercise, so let’s just keep our eyes open. Imagine that you are setting out on your dream international vacation. After a relaxing flight where you got a surprising amount of sleep, you hear the pilot announce the plane’s initial descent. Looking out your window, there you see it…it being the glittering waters of the South Pacific, the ancient wonders of the Roman Empire scattered across a bustling city, the dancing lights of the Tokyo skyline, etc…it’s your dream vacation so it’s really up to you here. Anyway, there you see it, just as you always imagined. As the plane gently touches down you can already feel the excitement building. In no time at all, you arrive at the luxury hotel that will be serving as your home away from home over this sojourn. Sounds pretty nice, right? Yeah, that’s not how it really happens…
Truth time. You’re jostled around by 300 of your fellow passengers who are just as eager to start their vacation. You finally get off the plane only to realize you have no idea where you’re going and your (insert language here) dictionary is sitting in the front pocket of your checked luggage. You follow the sea of people down corridors totaling a mile in distance until you finally come to a halt as the crowd funnels through the one available doorway. You finally squeeze your way through only to find yourself corralled into a customs line you are convinced is the slowest of the bunch…long story short, it’s a less than stellar and far too common start to vacations today.
So what does this little story have to do with luxury marketing? Well if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times—luxury is all about the experience. It’s easy for luxury brands to manage a consumer’s experience once they’ve arrived on property, but that does little to assuage the lingering blah feeling that the airport has a tendency to impress. Consequently, when they come to reflect on their vacation, traveler’s are likely to rate a hotel based on their overall experience and not just what the property offered. As a result, luxury hotel brands are challenged to foster a superior vacation experience for customers, and that includes dealing with the airport. How can they possibly do that?
The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) has launched a campaign to do just that. A selection of the brand’s properties have partnered with airports to provide guests with a luxury experience from the moment the seatbelt sign is turned off and the doors open.
In Paris, for example, guests are met at their arrival gate by an LHW handler who leads them through a VIP-only ‘Express’ desk to clear passport control…anyone who has wasted an afternoon in the notoriously long lines at Charles De Gaulle knows this alone makes the service worthwhile. The LHW handlers then proceed to take care of baggage claim and customs after which they escort their guest to the private limousine waiting outside.
There you have it. Just when you think there’s nothing that can be done to heighten the luxury experience of high-end travel, LHW comes and sets the bar higher.