We live in a golden era of on-demand apps. Need a pizza? Have a slice delivered. Forget to go grocery shopping? Fill up your cabinets with Instacart. But these are downright pedestrian compared to a whole slew of Uberlike services for the luxury market that help you book things like your own personal butler or private jet. Got some serious spare cash lying around? Go ahead, make me jealous.
Hello Alfred (iOS)
What's the point of being super wealthy if you don't have a butler hanging around ready to do your bidding? That's where Hello Alfred comes in. For a starting price of $32 a week, you can get a dedicated "Alfred" -- that's what they call their butlers, after Batman's loyal servant -- to do your bidding.
Alfreds can run errands, go grocery shopping, get your house or clothing cleaned, and more. Keep in mind that prices go up depending on your request and the frequency of visits per week.
Some chores, like cleaning and taking out the trash are included, while others like laundry cost extra -- $0.75 to $1.50 per pound for washing and folding -- or $4 to $6 to replace a button.
Alfreds aren't just helpers picked off the street, either. The company treats its butlers as full or part-time W2 workers with benefits. They have to pass background checks and the company claims that only the top 5 percent of applicant gets hired. We also like to imagine the Alfreds do your chores while wearing white gloves (unconfirmed).
Don't you hate when you drive your Porsche downtown and can't find a place to park it? Luxe promises to take the stress out of parking in the big city by being your personal valet service.
Use the app to say where you're going to be, and a Luxe valet will be there to take your car when you arrive (look for the eye-piercing blue jacket). When you want your car back, a valet will drop it off where you want. They can also fill up the gas, wash your car, or change the oil.
Luxe operates in several US cities including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Austin. Rates vary but basic parking will cost you $5 an hour.
There are different monthly subscriptions depending on location like unlimited parking ($399 in SF, $339 in Chicago) and residential car storage ($224 in LA, $599 in NYC).
JetSmarter wants to be the Uber for private jets, and while the on-demand aspect isn't quite as simple as Uber -- you can't just have a jet pick you up where you are -- the app handles all the booking from a clean mobile interface.
A JetSmarter membership will cost you $15,000 for the first year, which gives you free seats on shuttle flights under three hours and access to jet deals. Long haul flights start at $450 from New York to San Francisco.
The price of chartering your own private jet will vary by flight.
The app operates a few ways:
- You can book a private charter with your own itinerary, destination, and selection of aircraft.
- Book a flight and leave empty seats for other JetSmarter users to fill up (offsetting the hefty cost of flying alone).
- Hop on other people's booked planes (reverse of the previous option).
- Or you can snag one of JetSmarter's jet deals, for spontaneous flying at a reduced price (but still expensive).
Flying in a private jet can be boring too; wouldn't you prefer to be suspended in air with a loud propeller above your head?
Blade offers to do just that with its on-demand helicopter service. Browse the destination on the Blade app, or if you don't see where you want to go request a custom trip to fit your itinerary.
Who are we kidding, private jets are awesome. That's why Blade has BladeOne, an alternative service that gets you a seat on one of its private jets.
Or have the best of both worlds with Blade Bounce. Bounce will fly you via helicopter from a pickup location to one of the select airports in the New York area (such as JFK, LGA, or EWR) so you can get to your commercial or private flight on time.
Booking a Bounce ride starts at $895, but it's advertised to get you to the airport in as few as 20 minutes (that sure beats the subway).
Luxury Retreats (iOS)
Did you book that private jet/helicopter trip but have nowhere to stay? That's where Luxury Retreats comes in.
Although the company has been called the AirBnB for mansions, Luxury Retreats came first, dating back as far back as 1999. But thanks to its app and VC backing, the service feels like it belongs in Silicon Valley (even though it's based in Montreal).
Luxury Retreats has a wide selection of beach villas, mansions, and countryside estates. Prices vary depending on the location and home you're staying in. But even if you're lucky enough to find a listing for less than $1,000 a night, keep in mind that many of the listings have a 7 night minimum stay, which could end up draining your bank account. You know, or not.
It wouldn't be fair to exclude Uber from the list. On a few special occasions Uber brought its ride-hailing service to marine vessels with UberBOAT.
UberBOAT has made special appearances during events like Miami Art Week and Cannes Lions Festival. The service is mainly promotional and it lets riders request anything from a water taxi to a luxury yacht straight from the Uber app.
UberBOAT services come and go and are always localized. For example, if you were lucky enough to be in Dubai last April, you could have reserved a spot on an UberYACHT for 300 AED (roughly $82). Let's hope UberBOAT comes to a port near you.
If you're a top level business executive, you may have a personal assistant who helps with all the tasks you're too busy to do.
Fancy Hands brings you your own on-demand personal assistant, who can help you do things like make a dinner reservation, schedule an appointment, or deal with customer service.
It's aimed at small business owners, but really works for anyone who feels overwhelmed or maybe just doesn't want to book their own travel (really, who does?).
You can assign tasks through the app, text, email, or phone calls, but there's one catch -- tasks have to be able to be completed remotely.
The most basic plan gives you 5 requests a month for $30, while the premier plan gives you 50 requests for $200.
The assistants are all English speaking and based in the US, but Fancy Hands does cater to international clients as well.
Need a security guard to watch your estate? Or are you throwing a party and don't want anyone crashing?
Bannerman lets you hire a security guard to oversee your property, whether that's your apartment building, office, or event.
The hired muscle is no joke. The company claims that guards have over five years of experience on average and must pass DOJ and FBI background checks before they're accepted into the program.
Bannerman's short-term flat rate is $50 per hour, but it offers discounts for regular users. The guards are only available in San Francisco, LA, New York, and Dallas-Fort Worth, which could be a bummer if you want a guard stationed at your country home.
While it doesn't exactly fit in with the others because it isn't an on-demand app service, Luxy deserves a mention for being the Tinder for 1 percenter millionaires (a phrase I bet makes the 99 percent want to throw up).
Luxy isn't just a way for people to find sugar daddies or sugar mamas either. The service boasts that it helps start "real relationships" between "like-minded" people. And hey, if everyone's raking it in, then maybe it'll take the sting out of arguing over the dinner bill.
Luxy is free to join, but you have the option to buy a premium account for $99 that will unlock more features like the option to browse profiles invisibly and more matches per day.
While over half of the user base make more than $500K a year, it's the users who ultimately get to vote on who's allowed to stay. Just keep in mind that elitist Luxy can kick you out if for being too "poor or ugly."