By Forrest Brown, CNN
Atlanta (CNN) — Imagine being able to take off from a major US international airport on a commercial flight without stepping foot inside a clamorous, crowded and cavernous terminal.
If you have enough coin, you don’t have to imagine it. You’ll actually be able to live it – at least at two large and frequently crowded US airports.
A new private, luxury terminal for people taking commercial flights is scheduled to open on September 6 at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, according to operator PS in a news release. It’s the second one under the PS umbrella, with a similar private terminal having been open at LAX in Los Angeles since 2017.
“Opening our second PS location in America’s busiest airport will bring the countless travelers that fly to and through Atlanta the convenience and luxury that has become synonymous with the PS brand,” said Amina Porter, CEO of PS, in the news release. “The Atlanta Department of Aviation played a pivotal role in bringing this vision to life and we hope other airports will follow suit.”
Found internationally in places such as Dubai, Frankfurt and London’s Heathrow, the private, VIP terminal concept is getting established in the United States as well. PS aims to add a terminal at Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) in spring 2024 and Miami International Airport (MIA) in 2025, it said in the news release.
What a PS terminal offers
PS, first established in 2017 as The Private Suite, said its terminal “reimagines the airport experience for the seasoned and discerning traveler.” In practical terms, people using the PS terminal are promised a luxurious, VIP-tailored spot to wait for their plane and get to avoid the hassles involved with the crowds in a big, public terminal.
Among the perks for departures:
• A private TSA screening free of lines, along with on-site customs and immigration processing at the terminal.
• A PS host takes care of all your luggage.
• When it’s time to head to the aircraft, you’re escorted by a private driver in a BMW to board the plane straight from the tarmac. You can choose to be in the first group or the last group to board the plane.
While you’re waiting at the terminal, it’s all about luxury, whether you book time in the Salon lounge for a more social experience or a private suite, which features “an entertainment center, fully stocked snack and beverage bar and an ensuite bathroom.” In its FAQ section of its website, PS said “each suite hosts up to six people comfortably and can be customized to better entertain children or pets.”
Massages and local culture
Want even more exclusive amenities? PS said guests can also “enjoy an extensive menu of cocktails and chef-prepared meals, as well as spa and beauty offerings such as massages, manicure and barber services.”
The Atlanta terminal will also feature elements of local culture, PS said in its news release, including “an extensive collection of artworks” by Black artists.
Arrivals can share a similar experience to departees, just in reverse.
PS said an agent will greet you at the aircraft door and escort you from the airfield to the terminal while you await luggage delivery.
Flyers may also purchase something called PS Direct, in which you bypass the terminal altogether and instead get a chauffeur who takes you from flight door to your home or hotel in a BMW sedan and luggage delivery on domestic flights.
Like the LAX terminal, the ATL terminal will have its own private access road and parking.
How much does this cost?
Reservations are already being accepted for PS Atlanta. Annual memberships are optional. With those, your price for services is lower. But customers can also buy one-time packages without an annual membership. Packages can be bought for either one-way or round-trip service.
If you want to test the concept out, the lowest cost option is $1,095 for a one-time use (no membership) of the Salon. If you want to max out the experience, that will cost you $4,850 for the all-access membership package for a year. Get more PS pricing details here.
In 2021, the travel news and advice site The Points Guy did a review of the then-new Salon section of the LAX terminal. The review said that “the Salon is an incredible addition to PS, to say the least. It offers the opulence and convenience of the private suites, but at a much more reasonable price point.”
And the food offerings were a step or three above main terminal hot dogs or pizza. “Shortly after arriving, I was greeted with a glass of Pommery Brut Royal Champagne and a mouth-watering caviar spread.”
For a cost and offerings comparison, it’s $695 a year for an individual to join the Delta Air Lines Sky Club lounge program, which offers the assistance of a Delta “ambassador” as well as “complimentary cocktails, fresh and healthy food options, free high-speed Wi-Fi and more” in more than 50 airports serviced by the Atlanta-based airline. Some locations even have showers. But you won’t get a private security screening or a ride directly to your plane.
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