The recent pain felt by travellers leaving from London's major airports should make premium start-up carrier Silverjet's proposal sound particularly tempting. It is offering passengers a service whereby they can arrive at the carrier's planned dedicated terminal at London Luton Airport just 30 minutes before departure, leave their baggage with a concierge and relax in the lounge where an official armed with a laptop will check them in for the flight.
The carrier will be flying a Boeing 767 fitted out with 100 lie-flat business-class seats. Other enhancements to the regular flying experience being offered by Silverjet include ladies-only toilets on its aircraft, as well as no overhead lights or trolley service to ensure minimum disturbance to passengers during the flight.
It also promises dedicated security at the airport and offers helicopter transfer from downtown London.
The service is scheduled to start on 25 January between Luton and Newark, with introductory fares from £799 ($1,560).
Silverjet is entering a crowded market, with competition from existing US-based premium carriers Eos and Maxjet, as well as UK mainline carriers such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, all keen to attract the lucative business-class traveller.
Silverjet's dedicated terminal is part of a trend towards pampering the premium-class passenger. Lufthansa has a dedicated terminal at Frankfurt for its first-class passengers, while in the Middle East Qatar Airways has a terminal for its premium passengers at Doha and Etihad has one for its passengers at Abu Dhabi.