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Delta Will Vacate Terminals 5 and 6, Move to Terminals 2 and 3 at LAX

In recent months, Delta Air Lines announced that it was planning to vacate Terminals 5 and 6 and would move to Terminals 2 and 3 at Los Angeles International Airport.  At the same time, American Airlines will expand its operations in Terminal 5 while making no change to its operations in Terminal 4.  This move will affect the operations of 21 airlines including Delta Air Lines.  Here’s how the move will be done.

Delta Air Lines Begins Move to Terminals 2 and 3 Overnight on May 12th

For a short time during the wee hours of the night, US airlines operate a limited schedule.  This block of time usually runs from 11:30 PM till 4:30 AM.  It’s during this block of time that Delta Air Lines will begin to move its operations from Terminals 5 and 6 and over to Terminals 2 and 3.  Other airlines that will move to accommodate Delta’s relocation include JetBlue, Air Canada, Allegiant, Frontier, Spirit, Sun Country, Hawaiian Airlines, and Virgin America.  Additionally, certain airlines will still have ticket counters in Terminals 2 and 3 while their flights will operate out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal.  These airlines are Avianca, Copa, Interjet, Virgin Australia, and Volaris.

LAX's Current Terminal Map (Image: Los Angeles World Airports)

LAX’s Current Terminal Map (Image: Los Angeles World Airports)

Delta’s operations are extensive and will take days to relocate.  From the night of May 12th until May 17th.  Overnight moves are scheduled for May 12th, May 14th, and May 16th.  Because this move will take place over five days, Delta stated in a press release that, “Delta flights will operate from as many as four terminals (2, 3, 5 and 6) on certain days of the move.”  This will be among one of the biggest concerns as a passenger.  Essentially, on certain days, you could be flying out of Terminals 2, 3, 5, or 6.  That’s insane and will without a doubt, lead to delays.

Once Delta completes its move, it will operate out of Terminals 2 and 3 with just one other carrier, Virgin Atlantic.  Virgin Atlantic is Delta’s primary Trans-Atlantic codeshare partner.  Additionally, passengers traveling on Delta will have better access to the Tom Bradley International Terminal (aka Terminal B).  Via a walkway that spans from Terminal 2 to Terminal B, passengers can move freely among Terminals 2, 3, and B.  This walkway is similar to the walkway that connects American’s passengers in Terminals 4 and 5 with Terminal B.

Delta Air Lines is also boasting about the passenger experience following its move.  Once Delta relocates, in addition to direct access to the Tom Bradley International Terminal, Delta will operate two brand-new SkyClubs at LAX.  Delta will also offer an exclusive check-in area for DeltaONE passengers, new terminal dining options, and dedicated Delta Shuttle check-in.

Following what will likely be a messy five days, Delta’s operations will be streamlined and consolidated.  Delta’s move will also allow American to have more wiggle room in Terminal 5.

LAX Terminal Map Effective May 17th (Image: Los Angeles World Airports)

LAX Terminal Map Effective May 17th (Image: Los Angeles World Airports)

The Affects of Delta’s Big Move on Other Airlines

Delta’s move impacts the operations of 21 airlines at LAX.  Airlines that have limited operations out of LAX including JetBlue, Frontier, Allegiant, Sun Country, Spirit, and Hawaiian Airlines will be moved to Terminals 5 and 6.  This move will be fairly painless for the airlines with a smaller presence at LAX as their move will involve mostly changes in signage.  One airline that does operate a fairly extensive network out of LAX is Virgin America.

Virgin America will move to Terminal 6 where its parent airline, Alaska Airlines, currently operates from.  Virgin America operates a single airline lounge across its entire network; The Loft at LAX.  The Loft at LAX is a fairly small space that offers snacks and drinks.  However, after the move, it’s likely that Virgin America will no longer operate any airline lounges.  Alaska Airlines currently operates a lounge in Terminal 6.  The Alaska Airlines Lounge in Terminal 6 is small, dismal, and often overcrowded.  With both Alaska Airlines and Virgin America operating out of Terminal 6, it’s quite possible that a new larger lounge is in the works.

American Airlines will also benefit from this move.  American’s terminals will now be consolidated into two adjacent terminals with shuttles running exclusively to Terminal 5.  This will cut back on operational delays.  The move will also allow American Airlines to operate a second Admiral’s Club in Terminal 5.


Following Delta’s big move to Terminals 2 and 3, the Tom Bradley International Terminal will be connected via a walkway to Terminals 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.  This is fantastic as it will finally allow passengers to move about the airport without having to exit the secured area.  Additionally, this move will likely cut back on operational delays.  New restaurants, shops, gate areas, and airline lounges will also improve the passenger experience.  I’m looking forward to this move and can’t wait to see a more functional and passenger friendly LAX.

See the entire Delta Press Release here.

What do you think about Delta’s big move? Is LAX finally becoming more passenger-friendly?