V.I.P: Those three golden letters that can elevate pretty much any experience from meh to memorable. But there are a select few experiences—available only to a select few—that take the concept of “VIP” treatment to entirely another level. From sports events to music festivals to fine dining, we’ve curated the most lavish, over-the-top VIP packages from around the world to see how the one-percenters live…and frivolously blow their cash.
NAME: “The Edge of Space” at Sokol Airbase
SUPERLATIVE: The only place in the world where you can arrange a flight in a MiG-29
WHAT PUSHES IT OVER THE TOP: Always wanted to channel your inner Maverick, Top Gun-style? Well, the chance to be Iceman has cometh (well, to at least be the Russian enemy Ice and Mav flew against). Thanks to Incredible Adventures’ “Edge of Space” program, flying MiG Fighter Jets for fun is no longer an ‘80s-inspired pipe dream.
Think of it as Top Gun-meets-Gravity: After suiting up for high altitude at Russia’s Sokol Airbase, you’ll shoot up 70,000 feet in a supersonic MiG-29—even breaking the sound barrier. (Don’t nod off during the pre-training, as participants sit at the helm of a tandem cockpit with dual controls alongside a Top Gun pilot.) Unmatched views of Earth and close-ups of sky and space await, along with the requisite daredevil acrobatics on the way down.
Along with the flight experience itself, the $26,000 price tag includes the required security clearance, transport from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod (where Sokol is based), a flight video and photos, and a tour of the Sokol Plant Aviation Museum after landing. Also included are five days and four nights at the five-star Metropol Hotel (where Dr. Zhivago was filmed). On the “off” days, private guides are at the ready to show you around the Kremlin and Red Square or other prime areas of Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod.
For those who want to ramp it up a notch, extra training is available at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, where you can get your Major Tom on using the same simulators and space suits as professional cosmonauts.
Reach for your wallet, reach for the stars.