12 Airports Where You're Most Likely To Spot A Celebrity

True, TayTay and Trav aren't vying for the good seats on Southwest. You won't find Beyonce and Jay-Z elbowing through the crowd at the baggage carousel. Some of the less glamorous aspects of airline travel simply aren't things the rich and famous need to contend with. But until teleporting becomes a thing, flying is what we've all got and that means the possibility of crossing paths with a celebrity at an airport.

The chances of spotting a celebrity at the airport aren't high, but they're never zero! With private terminals and discreet lounges far from crowds of regular people traveling, A-listers and those with cash to spend don't mix too much with the rest of us. However, some airports are more likely to have a celebrity spotting than others. Generally, the more star-prone airports are those in big cities and places where celebrities work, live, or vacation. Some of these airports cater to their VIP clients with private suites and concierge services, easing the lives of jetsetters with a little extra luxury.

Heathrow Airport - London

London is a hub of fashion, music, and art. It's no surprise celebrities are often flying through its largest and busiest airport, Heathrow. Dennis Stone, who has worked as a photographer at the airport for over 70 years was quoted as saying by Express.co.uk: "Anyone who is anyone travels through Heathrow." Over his extensive tenure at LHR, he has snapped pics of mega-stars like Mick Jagger, Elton John, and Elizabeth Taylor. The pet corgis of Queen Elizabeth II were notoriously difficult to capture on film. "They'd come off the aircraft down the stairs and run all over the place. You'd have a job to get them."

Celebrities don't just travel via Heathrow, sometimes they work there, too. "Love, Actually" had scenes filmed there, as did "The Counselor" starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise's "Edge of Tomorrow," and "The Greater Good" with Kit Harrington of "Game of Thrones" fame. According to  The Sun, Rachel Betts, who served as the Filming and Location Manager at the airport, there were no special facilities for stars filming at Heathrow. They would change in the public toilets, which she assures are "lovely and huge though, as passengers have to be able to fit into them with their suitcases." Sometimes stars are just like us!

John, F. Kennedy International Airport - New York City

On this side of the Atlantic, New York can't be beat for cutting-edge trends and tastemakers. If you can't get reservations at restaurant hotspots like Nobu, dress circle tickets to the hottest Broadway show, or spend time staking out the hottest spots to see celebrities in New York, you just may find celebs coming and going through John F. Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica, Queens.

With 73 airlines flying direct to 189 worldwide destinations from JFK, things are rarely quiet at New York's busiest airport. That means thousands of passengers pass through each day, and you guessed it, some of those passengers are celebrities. Angelina Jolie and her daughter Zahara Pitt-Jolie, Shakira, and Penn Badgley are among those spotted at JFK in the last year. President Biden's plane Air Force One has also made appearances on the runways.

Honorable mention for New York area celebrity sightings at the airport goes to the neighboring airport of LaGuardia, which is preferred by some celebs for its less frenetic pace, particularly for domestic flights.

Los Angeles International Airport

Tinseltown is the storied home to major movie studios and their stars. There are tons of Los Angeles hotspots to see celebrities, so it's no surprise that LAX is one of the top airports to spot your favorite stars. True, there is a smaller airport in Hollywood/Burbank reportedly frequented by the likes of Jay Leno and Tim Burton, but for A-listers flying internationally, LAX is it. Celebrities like Bella Thorne, Caylee Cowan, and singer-songwriter Denny Strickland have all been spotted recently lending the terminal a little extra star power.

Many of the celeb comings and goings may be happening without your knowledge though. As Chrissy Teigen revealed on X, formally known as Twitter, the A-listers are being chauffeured to a private terminal: "there [sic] is a terminal a mile from the airport that you pay membership for. they do the same security privately and take you to the plane in a car. I know. I know." The service she refers to is operated by PS (Private Suite). 

At LAX, the private terminal has an exclusive salon, featuring a lux spot for VIPs to rub shoulders while enjoying cocktails and small bites. Even more upscale is the suite experience, with spa offerings, chef-created meals, and a private chauffeur to take you in a stylish BMW directly to your flight.

Harry Reid International Airport - Las Vegas

New York may be known as the city that never sleeps, but if you are looking for a place where the party runs 24/7, Las Vegas is the place to be. Us ordinary folk know it, and so do the celebrities who visit Vegas to frequent the clubs and high rollers' rooms on the Strip. For the Vegas F1 race in 2023, stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Bieber, Ben Affleck, and Jennifer Lopez reportedly flew in for all the glitz and glamor of Sin City.

And it's not only the party people who are visiting Vegas. With an MLB team set to join the NHL, WNBA, and NFL teams already drawing big crowds of fans in the desert oasis and an array of concert venues and stages, lots of celebrities also go to Las Vegas for work.

The airport, formerly known as McCarran International, has 34 airlines with regularly scheduled flights to 169 destinations. It famously has gambling machines in the terminal, so visitors, (famous and less so) can start testing their luck as soon as they land. In 2021, it was renamed Harry Reid International to honor the longest-serving Nevada senator.

Charles de Gaulle International Airport - Paris

Delicate and buttery pastries, elegant fashion, and stunning architecture from every historical era are all reasons why France is the most visited tourist destination in the world. Charles de Gaulle International Airport is the City of Light's busiest port of entry. According to the CDG website, the airport is home to "the biggest number of airlines worldwide." Several concierge companies operate in the airport, offering VIPs meet-and-greet services, guiding them through immigration and customs, transporting baggage, and providing luxury lounges to relax in.

It isn't just tour group participants and hordes of "Emily in Paris" fans flocking to see the Eiffel Tour and the Louvre; it's popular celebrities like Kate Bosworth and Gigi Hadid (who have both been spotted at the airport), too. Of course, some of the A-listers aren't just coming for a visit. In addition to many of the who's who of French popular culture, American household names like Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and Sofia Coppola keep homes in Paris.

Toronto Pearson International Airport

When Hollywood isn't embroiled in labor disputes, the glitterati is known to flock to the biggest city in Canada for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF.) And they are mostly all making their way through the terminals at Pearson International Airport. The festival was light on star power in 2023, with many celebrities avoiding the TIFF red carpet as part of the SAG-AFTRA strike. In years past, however, fans have been treated to sightings of top Hollywood talent such as Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig, Jessica Chastain, Kate Hudson, and everyone's secret dream boyfriend, Harry Styles.

The rest of the year, Pearson also makes for good celeb-spotting: Toronto has been known to stand in for New York as a filming location — Canadians love to spread the rumor that film crews have to pile garbage on Toronto sidewalks as set dressing for that New York flavor. Meghan Markle lived in Toronto while filming "Suits," flying out to rendezvous with Prince Harry during their courtship. The city has played host to many famous movies and their stars over the years as well, including: "The Shape of Water," "Total Recall," "Suicide Squad," "Good Will Hunting," and ironically, "Chicago."

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

As the major hub for Delta and a connection point for many international and domestic flights, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airport is not only the busiest airport in the U.S., it's the busiest airport in the world! ATL receives flights from 84 different airlines, flying 602 routes that crisscross the globe. The Atlanta Airport website reports "45,372,311 passengers used Atlanta Airport in 2022." 

With that kind of passenger volume, it goes to reason many celebrities are going to be passing through. Rapper-turned-politician Shyne Barrow was spotted with Diddy advisor Corey Jacobs, Kandi Burruss posed in a t-shirt emblazoned with "this is my airport shirt," and Vanessa L. Williams and Kim Kardashian were snapped together at Hartsfield-Jackson, discussing, we imagine, the secrets to staying gorgeous.

Hartsfield-Jackson also has a Private Suite terminal, which is the only location other than LAX. The luxury lounge and suites were opened at ATL in September 2023, ensuring VIPs on commercial flights can limit the amount of time they are subjected to the indignities of the airport. The PS experience includes private TSA and customs screenings, chauffeured transportation to the plane, and an array of high-end amenities and conveniences.

Nice Côte d'Azur Airport

The French Rivieria is the stuff of golden dreams and the gateway to it all is the Nice Côte d'Azur Airport. Every year visitors soak up the sun at beautiful pebble beaches and stroll along palm tree-lined boulevards, knowing a chilled glass of rosé is only a "s'il vous plait" away. No wonder it is also a popular spot for stars to visit or buy vacation homes. Superstars like Naomi Campbell, Leonardo DiCaprio, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Kate Moss, and Magic Johnson have all been seen enjoying the azure water and rarified air in and around Nice.

Glamour feels like the theme of the place, and there is no more glamorous gathering of the stars than the Cannes Film Festival. And while there is a small airport in Cannes, it doesn't receive scheduled flights. So, barring those arriving by helicopter directly to Cannes, the stars traveling to the festival fly into Nice Côte d'Azur, making it a prime star-spotting location.

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

There's more to New Orleans than Mardi Gras and alligators, although we do love both of those things. The rich history of the cultures that have touched and formed the Cresent City shows up in its food, music, and sometimes impenetrable accent of its citizens. The heady mix of Southern hospitality and European charm that draws tourists every year also attracts celebrities to hang out in New Orleans, all flying through Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, named for one of the city's most beloved sons. Stars as varied as Sandra Bullock, Solange Knowles, Trent Reznor, and Lil Wayne choose to make the city home. Nicholas Cage owned the LaLaurie Mansion, purportedly one of the most haunted houses in America, before losing it to foreclosure in 2009.

To encourage the film industry in the state, Louisiana offers tax breaks and incentives to bring the cost of movie-making down, which means more celebrities coming through the New Orleans airport. Popular vampire drama "True Blood" was filmed in the state, as was "True Detective," "Where the Crawdads Sing," "American Horror Story: Coven," and "12 Years a Slave." The filming of "Interview with a Vampire" famously brought the likes of Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise to the area, with a return for Pitt for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

Zurich Airport (Flughafen Zuerich)

Zermatt, St. Moritz, Gstaad ... even if you aren't a skier, the names of these star-studded Swiss ski resorts probably ring a bell. For access to the Swiss Alps, celebs fly into Zurich, then transfer by car or helicopter to the resorts in Switzerland or over the border in the Italian Alps. Fifty-five airlines fly into the airport, (called Flughafen Zuerich in Swiss German), meaning wherever celebs come from or are headed, there is a route through Zurich.

So if you are star-peeping celebrities heading for a ski vacation, Zurich International Airport is the place to do it. Stars who have been spotted swishing down the slopes or otherwise making the most of the lovely Swiss countryside include a glammed-up Zendaya, Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra on a double date ski vacation with Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner (in happier times), and Madonna reportedly learned to ski at Gstaad while on vacation with her six kids.

Vancouver International Airport

Built along the Pacific coast in the shadow of the Coast Mountain range, Vancouver is renowned for its natural beauty and laidback vibe. The airport, which is actually located in the neighboring city of Richmond, is a showcase of Indigenous art with pieces from several First Nations artists holding pride of place throughout the terminals, delighting both the A-listers and the regular people passing through.

Much like Toronto, the other Canadian airport on this list, Vancouver benefits from an attractive currency exchange rate for Americans and serves as a stand-in for other settings on the big and small screen. Destination Vancouver reports that over $1 billion each year is pumped into the economy thanks to the film industry. "Deadpool," "Star Trek," and "50 Shades of Grey" were all filmed within and around town, bringing their stars in, presumably through the terminal at YVR. There are plenty of places to see celebrities in Vancouver, some of them who live there. Ryan Reynolds is one of the most famous people to have called the West Coast city home and is joined by the likes of Seth Rogan, Finn Wolfhard, and Michael Bublé.

Hamad International Airport - Doha, Qatar

Doha, Qatar has been garnering some buzz lately. Following the country's role as the host to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the capital city of Doha has been enjoying some time in the spotlight. During the Qatar Creates festival in the autumn of 2023, celebrities including Bella Hadid and Naomi Campbell were in Doha, posting glamorous photos from glittering venues.

Most everyone who arrives or departs from Qatar flies through Hamad International in Doha, the largest airport in the country. Hamad International is renowned for its beauty and service, garnering a top five-star rating on Skytrax, which rated it the second-best airport in the world for 2023, after Singapore Changi. The airport boasts premium "Al Maha" concierge services to ease the way for VIP travelers, with expedited immigration and customs, baggage assistance, and access to the opulent Al Maha and Ornyx lounges. There are additional lounges, including secluded spots for arriving travelers, unaccompanied minors, people on the Autism spectrum, and offshore workers. Business- and first-class passengers on Qatar Airways have access to the Al Mourjan Lounge, (complete with a private VIP room adjoining the restaurant), or the Al Safwa Lounge, which CNN describes as "airport nirvana."