ABOVE: LATTE chats with the well-travelled Director of Sales and Private Jet Tours of Lakani World Tours, John Webley, about jets, bucket-list destinations and the world of luxury travel.
Since starting Lakani World Tours in 2003, Heidi Lakani has built a reputation on seeking the finest experiences for her high-flying clients, garnering acclaim as one of the finest boutique travel advisors. Her signature private jet tours offer the pinnacle in luxury travel, a far cry from her first voyage on the global trail of Rudyard Kipling in 1978-79, bouncing from scheduled flight to scheduled flight across South-East Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Lakani World Tours, based in Newport, California, has made its name with private jet tours where everything has been considered for its travellers, from the handling of their bags with the Luggage One-Touch service to personal relationships with every bus driver and local contact. Indeed, many clients have become long-term devotees of this boutique approach, whether on an around-the-world private jet experience or a customised itinerary. “Once you travel Lakani, you are Lakani for life,” the saying goes.
It’s easy to see why. On her jet tours, chartered B757s are reconfigured to provide space for a maximum of just 30 travellers in all-business style, allowing a generous allowance for luggage and a comfortable lounge for onboard socialising. She eschews lie-flat seats in favour of an itinerary with flights no longer than five hours and accommodation in the finest hotels every night of the journey.
Most members of her equally well-travelled team have been working with her for 10-20 years, sharing the same values and relish for their work. Together they have time management and on-the-ground knowledge down to a fine art; Heidi knows that an extraordinary venture such as Lakani World Tours can only work when every single staff member knows (and loves) every aspect of every journey.
Heidi’s interpretation of luxury, however, isn’t necessarily the most obvious. It is no flashy show of wealth but experiences that appeal to discerning tastes executed with precision, passion and excitement – with the added comfort of security.