Managing the Delta Terminal Changes at LAX

Ask an Expert - april

From May 12 to May 17 one of the largest terminal moves in the history of aviation will begin at LAX. Delta will be moving from Terminals 5 and 6 to Terminals 2 and 3, and 20 other airlines will be moving as well. While ultimately a good thing, this may cause some challenges to travelers during the transition. We turned to business travel expert Road Warriorette for the best ways to manage the change.

What changes are happening?

Over five nights in May a total of 21 airlines will be relocating their operations. Some airlines, such as Delta, will be moving to an entirely new terminal, while others will simply be moving their check-in counters. The moves will happen overnight, and organizers are hopeful daytime operations will be unaffected.

What is the motivation behind the change?

The end goal for the moves is more efficient operations between partner carriers, as well as planned facility improvements for Terminals 2 and 3. Delta is planning to spend almost $2 billion on the Delta Sky Way at LAX, modernizing, upgrading, and connecting Terminals 2 and 3, with this move as the first step.

How will I know where to go?

As always, check your flight times and gate information before leaving for the airport. At LAX, the first digit of the gate number will indicate what terminal you are in. For example, gate 65 is in Terminal 6. Once you arrive at the airport flight and gate status is on the display boards in each terminal, as well as plenty of signage with clear directions on where you need to be. In addition, all ground transportation (buses, taxis, Uber, etc) will be updated on the transition and where all the airlines will be located during and after the move.

Will the airport assist passengers affected by the change?

The airport is very focused on making sure affected passengers have all the information and help they need. There will be 500 additional signs, along with staff on hand to answer questions and direct customers to the correct location. If a passenger needs to transfer to a different terminal there will be shuttle buses between Terminals 2/3 and Terminals 5/6. In addition, the “A” bus will also be available, free for passengers, departing every 10 minutes and traveling between all terminals.

How can I minimize the disruption to my travel plans?

Keep in mind: some flights will require check-in at one terminal but will be departing from another.  This means it is crucial to allow extra time at the airport if you need to check your bags. If you are carrying on, you should be able to simply check in online and use a mobile or printed boarding pass to get through security like normal.
Ultimately, the best way to minimize the disruption to your travel is to avoid LAX during this time if at all possible. With this much change occurring the risk is too high for delays or missing your flight, especially for business travelers.

For more information please see the LAX transition website.


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