Delta Air Lines Accelerates Los Angeles Terminal Renovations

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Delta Air Lines is accelerating its terminal transformation at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). One of Delta’s West Coast gateways, the airline is revamping the customer experience in Los Angeles and making connections much easier at the airport between domestic and international passengers.

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Delta Air Lines is accelerating its Los Angeles redevelopment plan. Photo: Getty Images

LAX renovation accelerated

Delta Air Lines now expects its Los Angeles International Airport renovation to be completed 18 months ahead of schedule. Instead of opening in late-2024, the plan now is to get the redevelopment finished by mid-2023.

With the first phase of the Delta Sky Way completed, Delta is moving full steam ahead to revamp the customer experience at LAX. On Thursday, a ceremonial “topping out” occurred as the final steel beam was secured to the central headhouse structure. This is where Delta will consolidate its check-in lobby, security checkpoint, and bag claim facility.

Steel Beam
The massive steel beam that marked the completion of the first phase of the LAX Sky Way project. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Delta and city and airport officials cited the immensely lower passenger volumes at LAX as a reason for accelerating the redevelopment. Temporarily, Terminal 3 is closed at the airport, which is another reason why progress is moving much faster.

Delta’s Vice President of Corporate Real Estate, Mark Pearson, said the following:

“If there’s a silver lining to fewer people flying right now, it’s that we have an opportunity and a team with the know-how to pull the future forward on infrastructure projects like Sky Way at LAX, which will deliver an exceptional experience much faster than planned for our customers and employees. This is all possible thanks to the incredible support of LAWA, the City of Los Angeles and our construction partners who are aligned with our vision, and our employees who continue to be nimble in supporting customers throughout each phase of construction.” 

Mayor Eric Garcetti signs the beam that marked the ceremonial completion of the first phase. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Delta’s redevelopment plan at LAX

LAX is home to one of Delta’s ambitious terminal redevelopment project. With $1.86 billion going into modernizing, upgrading, and connecting Delta’s Terminal 2 and 3 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), this is an ambitious undertaking that will improve the customer experience.

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In the first quarter of 2022, Delta expects to open the central headhouse at LAX. Beyond security, this facility will also provide connectivity between Delta’s two terminals. Currently, passengers can only get between the two terminals airside via a shuttle bus, which adds more time to the connecting network. Part of the project also includes access to the LAX Automated People Mover, which will open in 2023.

In mid-2022, Delta will open a refreshed Terminal 3 concourse and satellite terminal. The west headhouse will follow this up in front of Terminal 3 in the fourth quarter of 2022. Finally, in mid-2023, the Terminal 2 renovation and Terminal B (international) connector will be complete.

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Los Angeles is a vital hub for Delta Air Lines. Photo: Getty Images

The redevelopment plan will offer more screening capacity, automated security lanes, more gate-area seating (a necessary improvement at LAX), and Delta’s largest Sky Club. This is in addition to the Delta One check-in space at LAX.

All in all, a 27-gate complex on Terminals 2 and 3 and a secure connection to TBIT will enable more efficient gate utilization between Delta and its partners while also cutting connecting times by up to 20 minutes.

A boon for passengers will be the reconstructed Terminal 3 concourse, which currently features a 1960s-style satellite building and limited seating and gate space.

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The largest Delta Sky Club found anywhere will be at LAX, where Delta will offer an indoor/outdoor double bar, a year-round outdoor Sky Deck, premium showers, and much more.

All of this comes in advance of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles, of which Delta is the inaugural founding partner.

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Delta is a founding partner of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Delta at LAX

Delta operates out of Terminals 2 and 3 at LAX, while its international partners primarily fly out of TBIT. Passengers who have connected in LAX know that it is a bit of a hodgepodge currently, with shuttle busses required to transit airside or a less-than-ideal outdoor connection required.

Delta considers LAX to be an important hub and uses it as one of its transpacific gateways. The airline offers flights to Honolulu, Shanghai, Sydney, and Tokyo out of Los Angeles. Its partners, such as Air France, China Eastern, Korean Air, Alitalia, and others, offer flights to cities like Nanjing, Paris, Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul, and more.

In addition, the airline flies high-profile transcontinental routes, such as to New York-JFK, out of Los Angeles. In a testament to the airport’s importance, the final commercial Boeing 777 flight for the airline touched down in Los Angeles after a flight from New York.

Are you looking forward to Delta’s modernized LAX facilities? Let us know in the comments!

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