$100 to be a Baghdad airport VIP, oil companies welcome

A new luxury service enables well-heeled travelers to avoid long lines and discomforts, despite concerns over secretive and expensive business practices.
The new Iraqi Airways-Palm Jet VIP terminal, Diwan, opened June 1, 2011. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

BAGHDAD - Air travelers out of Baghdad know that to leave behind the traffic jams and explosions of the capital there is a final obstacle: the airport itself. They endure multiple searches and long lines, and once they're in the terminal they constantly monitor the departure screen, lest their flight spontaneously leave early without them.

But now they can avoid such hassles. Rather than driving to the main Baghdad International Airport terminals, they can turn left just past the U.S. and Iraqi military bases and the mandatory checkpoints, head toward the True Value Hardware store, continue past the Iraqi Airways administrative office, and follow the signs for the VIP Terminal.

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