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VIP TRAVEL

At some airports, rich people don’t even have to go to the terminal

Hilary Sargent
Member exclusive by Hilary Sargent

If you’re hanging around Los Angeles International Airport, hoping to catch a glimpse of a celebrity, you may be out of luck. Increasingly, celebrities, executives, and anyone else with deep enough pockets are opting out of the regular LAX airport experience—even when they don’t opt out of the LAX airport altogether.

Situated just minutes from the main LAX terminals is The Private Suite, a private terminal that serves all airlines that take off and land at LAX and has managed to eliminate virtually everything there is to hate about commercial airports. Private Suite users avoid traffic and congestion upon arrival. The TSA screening process is quick and private. There are no lines, no needless waiting. There are no paparazzi. “It’s like going to the airport without ever having to go through the airport, essentially,” says Josh Gausman, chief operating officer and co-founder of The Private Suite. “We have successfully created calm in this really chaotic environment at the airport—arguably the most chaotic environment in all of Los Angeles.”  It’s an idyll that’s found its market, and is in the process of expanding: The company is planning to open a second Private Suite location this year at New York’s JFK.

The Private Suite is located close to LAX’s terminals and sits on its property, but it’s just far enough from the congested airport entrance to avoid traffic. Once you’ve passed through the tall gates into The Private Suite’s grounds, you’re escorted to your own hospitality suite (the facility has around a dozen) with complimentary refreshments and toiletries. An en-suite bathroom is provided, as are views of planes taking off and landing through the oversized windows. A communal garden is available for outdoor lounging, and spa services can be booked ahead of time in your room, so you can get a pedicure before enplaning. If you need a more thorough freshening up, you can wash up in the single-occupancy shower suite.