VIP suites, spa services: Look inside the airport’s new private terminal

Hartsfield-Jackson’s new private terminal caters to celebrities and well-heeled travelers

A luxury terminal is about to open at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport with suites, spa services and a private security screening room for airline passengers willing to pay extra for the privilege.

The PS terminal on the north side of the Atlanta airfield officially opens Sept. 6. But the company invited some officials and special guests for an early peek at the terminal, its lounge and bar and three suites.

(Left to right) Balram Bheodari, the general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport gets a tour of PS ATL from Steven Gargaro, PS ATL Vice President of Airport Development on Wednesday, August 30, 2023. The luxury terminal features private suites, a bar, a TSA screening line as well as customs and immigration processing. (Natrice Miller/ Natrice.miller@ajc.com)

Credit: Natrice Miller/AJC

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Credit: Natrice Miller/AJC

While those flying private planes out of the Atlanta airport have long used a separate terminal, PS allows those flying on airlines to skip the security lines at the public terminals at Hartsfield-Jackson, and instead go through private Transportation Security Administration screening.

The target market, according to PS ATL managing director Alita Arranaga, is airline travelers who want “a respite from the chaos of the main terminal” — and can afford it. The main terminal is “chaotic,” she said. “We want a place for people to come and relax,” with “high-touch” personalized service.

It costs $1,095 per person for each visit to the PS terminal lounge, or $4,850 for a private suite for up to four travelers. That does not include the cost of the flight.

The suites have a day bed, private restrooms, shower, spa services, meals from Muss & Turner’s in Smyrna and chauffer service in a BMW to or from the aircraft.

Views of the inside of a suite at PS ATL at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport shown on Wednesday, August 30, 2023. The luxury terminal features private suites, a bar, a TSA screening line as well as customs and immigration processing. (Natrice Miller/ Natrice.miller@ajc.com)

Credit: NATRICE MILLER

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Credit: NATRICE MILLER

PS, formerly known as The Private Suite, has operated a VIP terminal at Los Angeles International Airport since 2017. Atlanta is the second location for PS.

Atlanta — an “entertainment mecca” with dozens of large corporations and the world’s busiest airport — was an attractive place for PS to expand, according to Arranaga.

Steven Gargaro, PS vice president of airport development, said the company has relationships with major film studios, including ones with locations in Atlanta.

“Lots of people have been telling us we should be here,” he said. Actors, celebrities or others will be able to fly from Los Angeles to Atlanta using a PS terminal on both ends, for example.

Views of the spa at PS ATL at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport shown on Wednesday, August 30, 2023. The luxury terminal features private suites, a bar, a TSA screening line as well as customs and immigration processing. (Natrice Miller/ Natrice.miller@ajc.com)

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The company sells an all-access membership for $4,850 annually, but using the terminal with the membership still costs $750 per person per use, or $3,550 for a private suite.

PS started taking bookings in early August and has bookings into next year, according to Arranaga.

The PS ATL location is smaller than the 12-suite PS LAX location, but Arranaga said there is room to expand if demand warrants it.

Views of the exterior of PS ATL at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport shown on Wednesday, August 30, 2023. The luxury terminal features private suites, a bar, a TSA screening line as well as customs and immigration processing. (Natrice Miller/ Natrice.miller@ajc.com)

Credit: NATRICE MILLER

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Credit: NATRICE MILLER

The PS location at the Atlanta airport has been in the works since last year. PS is subleasing the terminal building from Signature Flight Support, which operates Hartsfield-Jackson’s general aviation terminal next door to handle business jets and other private aircraft.

Views of the TSA line inside of PS ATL at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport shown on Wednesday, August 30, 2023. The luxury terminal features private suites, a bar, a TSA screening line as well as customs and immigration processing. (Natrice Miller/ Natrice.miller@ajc.com)

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The PS terminal has a dedicated room for private U.S. Customs and Border Protection clearance for customers arriving on international flights. PS, which has agreements with TSA and CBP, reimburses the agencies for the cost of the screenings.

Airport officials expect the PS terminal will also be used by VIP guests flying into Atlanta for the World Cup in 2026.

The company also plans to open locations in Miami and Dallas by 2025, as well as locations in New York and other cities in the future, according to Gargaro.

Gargaro sees PS as “almost an extension” of other premium products and services, such as Delta Sky Clubs. Some travelers pay extra for TSA PreCheck screening or Clear security lines.

Others “need a bit more, because of privacy or when you want to avoid the paparazzi,” or for security reasons, Gargaro said. Executives may want a private room to make phone calls and hold meetings before departure.

“There’s a whole range of people that this is an important service for,” he said.

Views of the inside of a suite at PS ATL at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport shown on Wednesday, August 30, 2023. The luxury terminal features private suites, a bar, a TSA screening line as well as customs and immigration processing. (Natrice Miller/ Natrice.miller@ajc.com)

Credit: NATRICE MILLER

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Credit: NATRICE MILLER