“I think this is a very smart move on United’s part to compete,” said Henry Harteveldt, founder of travel-industry consulting firm Atmosphere Research Group. Because it’s in Los Angeles, the airline may be going after VIP travelers in the entertainment industry, who value privacy, Harteveldt added.
The Private Suite includes dedicated security and customs screening away from the hoards in the main terminals, as well as individual suites.
Access to the Private Suite will be included in some business-class fares, United said, and on routes to or from LAX, to Newark, Aspen, Hawaii, London’s Heathrow, Singapore, Tokyo Narita and Sydney, among other destinations.
An annual membership at the Private Terminal normally goes for $4,500, but access will be included in some tickets, United said.