Meghan Markle's secret Canada trip: Here's how celebrities fly commercial without detection

The Duchess of Sussex reportedly flew solo — and under the radar — on a commercial flight. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Duchess of Sussex reportedly flew solo — and under the radar — on a commercial flight. (Photo: Getty Images)

There’s not much that Meghan Markle can do without causing mass pandemonium. So reports that the duchess flew on a commercial flight — totally undetected — from London to Toronto to visit her best friend are shocking.

According to ABC News royal contributor Omid Scobie, “Meghan spent three days holed up at Jessica Mulroney and her husband Ben’s home in Toronto. They spent their days catching up, cooking together and, of course, playing with Jessica’s children, who love their ‘Auntie Meg.’”

The friends, who met while Meghan was shooting Suits in the Canadian city, also had a mini-reunion with close pals, said Scubie. “There was one evening when Meghan and Jessica secretly headed out into the town to meet some of Meghan’s old, good friends.”

Meghan’s rumored flight date was Aug. 21, and she reportedly traveled without husband Prince Harry.

Paparazzi typically maintain a presence at airports in major cities where celebs often travel for work. Thanks to Canada’s generous tax breaks, high-profile travelers are frequently spotted at Toronto Pearson International. So it’s hard to believe the Duchess of Sussex’s trip wasn’t front-page news at the time.

Other VIPs — Ivanka Trump, for example, when she flew coach traveling to the Winter Games this year in PyeongChang — have flown commercial. Last September, Trump also reportedly sat in the cheap seats on a flight from Detroit to Washington, D.C. And in 2016, Trump, and her three children sat coach on a JetBlue domestic flight amid harassment from a passenger who was escorted off the flight for yelling, “Your father is ruining the country. … Why is she on our flight? She should be flying private.”

The Duchess of Sussex’s trip, however, was unique in that she avoided fanfare at both the London and Toronto airports and during the flight. Of course, it’s likely she was tucked away in first class and that the crew was prepped ahead of time. The U.K.’s Express reported that Kensington Palace sent instructions to Air Canada that “no one takes Meghan’s picture or approaches her on the flight.” And according to the website Royal Central, Meghan wore basics: black jeans, a black sweater, black flats, and a black baseball cap.

“Meghan was lovely,” a source told the website. “She had two secret service guys with her, but it was all very low key. Meghan had one glass of champagne before settling down to watch Book Club. She seemed very relaxed and sipped on peppermint tea during the journey.”

A representative of Air Canada did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment, however, a spokesperson for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) tells Yahoo Lifestyle that many celebs traveling through the major port use an amenity called the Private Suite. According to CNN, the exclusive reservation-only lounge offers a private entrance, a relaxation room with scenic views and snacks, a solo security check, and a chauffeured drive across the tarmac. An annual membership to the suite is $4,500, and members incur additional costs depending on whether the travel is domestic or international.

“That service is used by crème de la crème of celebrities, the ones who don’t want to be seen,” says the LAX spokesperson, who did not want to be identified for this story. “They don’t receive much attention because the passengers sitting next to them are their peers.” In other cases, he says, celebrity publicists call the airport ahead of time to generate buzz around their clients.

However, some VIPs simply show up at the airport and are greeted by private handlers who whisk them off to private rooms for TSA screenings and relaxation. For example, American Airlines representative Ross Feinstein, who called the brand “the preferred airline of the entertainment industry,” directed Yahoo Lifestyle to the company’s webpage detailing its Five Star Service, which offers private airport lounges, personal escorts to and from the gates, private or expedited access through TSA security, and early boarding privileges.

High-profile travelers who choose to fly on American Airlines can check up to 25 bags per flight at a discounted rate, and fees for overweight bags are waived.

But even if Meghan flew first class, says the LAX spokesperson, not many cabins are private, so passengers would have walked by the duchess on the way to their seats. Still, it’s possible that Meghan went unrecognized on the plane. “Some people are starstruck or stare and gossip when they reach their seats,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Others just don’t care.”

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