Traffic at LAX has grown 30% since 2011. Last year 81 million passengers flew through LA’s only international airport, far more than it was ever designed to accommodate. Consequently, LAX is already a zoo, to put it nicely. But my hometown menagerie will become even more chaotic between May 12-17 as Delta swaps terminals.
It wasn’t that long ago that Delta spent $229MN to update and modernize Terminal 5. That’s still a beautiful terminal, but Delta has outgrown it and will move to Terminal 2 and 3. Problem: shuffling terminals during a busy travel week. 20 carriers are implicated by the move. Here’s he plan–
- Moving Will Take Place 05-12 May
- The combined Terminals 2/3 will give Delta seven additional gates
- Delta will spend $1.9 billion to refurbish both terminals
- A central check-in facility and Sky Club is planned between Terminals 2 and 3
- Both terminals will be connected airside (past security) to the rest of of the airport
- Terminal 3 will be torn down and rebuilt to meet updated seismic standards
- Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic and WestJet (Delta partners) will remain
- Aer Lingus, Avianca, Copa, Hainan Airlines, Thomas Cook, Qatar, Virgin Australia, and Polaris will move to the Tom Bradley International Terminal
- Hawaiian, JetBlue, Spirit, Allegiant, Frontier and Sun Country will move to Terminal 5
- Air Canada, Virgin America, XL Airways France and Boutique Air will move to Terminal 6
Delta will abandon an already beautiful facility in Terminal 5–
Here’s how the new terminal will look–
“The biggest relocation operation in airport history”
Delta calls the move the biggest relocation operation in airport history. While I’m not sure about that, it does constitute the biggest relocation in LAX history. I’m old enough to remember airlines jumping around like American from Terminal 3 to 6 (while maintaining T4) and Virgin America from Terminal 6 to Terminal 3 (now back to T6). But this move will be on a whole other scale. During some stages of the move, Delta will be occupying four terminals at LAX!
Death of Two Priority Pass Lounges?
Air Canada and Virgin America are moving to T6. Currently Air Canada is in T2 and has a Maple Leaf Lounge. Virgin America is currently in T3 and calls its lounge the Virgin Loft. Both lounges are part of the Priority Pass network.
Both carriers have solutions in the new lounge. Air Canada passengers can use Star Alliance partner United’s beautiful new lounge in T7. Alaska and Virgin America are merging and so Virgin premium passengers will be invited to use the Alaska Lounge in T6.
But Priority Pass members will likely lose two very decent lounges at LAX.
Exciting changes are coming to LAX. The airport is modernizing and each step brings it closer to becoming the modern, luxurious, easily navigable airport that passengers have been clamoring for…for decades.