When Delta announced plans last year to move its operations at Los Angeles International Airport, it didn’t say exactly when that would happen. Now it seems that massive relocation is coming very soon.
Los Angeles World Airports said May 12 is the date when Delta will begin to move from Terminals 5 and 6 to Terminals 2 and 3 – forcing the simultaneous relocation of several other airlines already using those two terminals.
The full process, expected to take at least five days (from May 12 to 17), is being called the biggest relocation project in LAX’s history. And all the affected airlines are expected to maintain regular operations during the mega-move. The move will only add to the mess created by other ongoing renovations and construction work at LAX.
“The moves will take place the nights of May 12, 14 and 16. Each airline will complete its relocation overnight, and start their operations in their new location the following morning,” the airport authority said. Delta noted that during the moving period, it will be operating flights from all four affected terminals, so it plans to maintain “constant communications” with customers regarding gate locations through its app, texts and emails.
The most noticeable improvement for Delta customers will be the new location that’s closer to the LAX entrance for faster and easier access into and out of the airport. More gates means your plane is less likely to have to wait for a one upon arrival. Plus Delta will now be located closer to its partner airlines and TBIT for easier connections. And there’ll be a Shake Shack (!).
Here’s a map of all airline locations at LAX as of May 17 when the move will be complete.
Not all the carriers currently in T2 and T3 will relocate. Delta’s rationale for the move is to position itself in the same terminals as its partner airlines to enable seamless connections. So Virgin Atlantic, Aeromexico and WestJet will remain in T2 and T3. Delta owns substantial equity stakes on Aeromexico and Virgin Atlantic.
Airlines currently using T2 and T3 that will have to move out include Aer Lingus, Air Canada, Avianca, Hainan Airlines, Hawaiian Air, Interjet, Qatar Airways, Sun Country, Thomas Cook, Volaris, XL Airways France, Allegiant Air, Boutique Air, Frontier, JetBlue, Spirit, and Virgin America. They are expected mostly to move to the vacated space in T5 and T6.
Related: Burbank loses Hope but gains flights
And Delta’s relocation is only the beginning of a four-year, $1.9 billion renovation and reconstruction project that will remake T2 and T3. The work will also include construction of a post-security connector from T3 to the north side of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, for easier connections to Delta’s other international partners like Air France-KLM, Alitalia, China Eastern, China Southern, Korean and Virgin Australia. Until the connector is built, an airside bus will link Terminals 2, 3 and the Bradley Terminal, Delta said.
Delta said that after the terminal overhauls are finished, its customers will see new Delta Sky Clubs in both terminals, a private check-in lounge for Delta One travelers, expedited check-in services for its Delta Shuttle flights, and an integrated in-line baggage system.
“We don’t take lightly the responsibility of caring for our customers and employees before, during and after the move,” said Delta’s Ranjan Goswami, “A relocation of this scale is unprecedented, so we’re putting all our resources into planning, preparing, communicating and executing this move as flawlessly as possible.”
Los Angeles World Airports said it will post updates on the moves at http://www.laxishappening.com/relocation.aspx. Travelers can also keep tabs on the process on social media with the hashtag #LAXontheMove, on Twitter @flyLAXairport and @LAAirportPD, on Facebook at LAInternationalAirport, and Instagram at flylaxairport.
“During the relocation and in the weeks following, passengers are advised to check-in online, print boarding passes, and check terminal and gate information before coming to LAX,” the airport authority said. “They should also arrive to the airport earlier than normal. Once at LAX, passengers should check flight and gate status on flight information display boards in each terminal to ensure they are in the correct location.”
Or, you could just plan on using Burbank, Orange County, Santa Barbara, Ontario or Long Beach airports in the meantime to avoid the kerfuffle.
What do you think of LAX and this big game of musical terminals? Please leave your comments below.
In the market for a new credit card? See our “Credit Card Deals” tab to shop around! It helps us help you.