The entrance to PS at LAX with staff greeting
Copyright: Seann M Hogan
I remember watching with jealousy as my seatmate on a flight to Geneva a few years ago—a former White House official now employed by a multinational company— didn’t file out with the rest of us onto the jetway to the terminal and was instead met by a Mercedes next to the plane. With a new service introduced last month at LAX, though, passengers arriving on domestic flights can now have the same experience. It’s a different car—BMW instead of Mercedes—but the same procedure: passengers walk down the stairs at the side of the jetway, have bags unloaded directly from the plane and head straight home or to their hotel.
The service that provides this is PS Direct, available at an extra cost to members of PS at LAX, the private terminal at the Los Angeles airport previously known as The Private Suite. Originally opened in 2017 as a refuge for paparazzi harassed celebrities and other travelers willing to pay for the pleasure (current per use fee: $4150; $3150 for members who pay a $4500 annual fee) of not having to deal with the airport’s main terminals, it took on greater significance this year during the pandemic due to its privacy and separation from the crowds. And it’s in the process of changing more than its name.