What is it like in LAX this week? Reader Chris tell us the “real” skinny on the Delta terminal move!

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My good friend, Chris, who runs PointsLounge.com lives near LAX and flies often out of this and the surrounding airports. Since I have spent the past few weeks in St. Thomas and back and forth from Sweden I did not have the chance to check out how the May terminal switch went. Chris was kind enough to detail it all for us. Take it away Chris!

Most Delta frequent flyers know the mothership (and 20 other airlines) just relocated terminals at LAX. Delta moved from Terminal 5 (and a handful of gates at Terminal 6) to Terminals 2 and 3. The entire swap (tagged “#LAXOnTheMove” on social media) was completed about a day ago.

What a great excuse to take a mini mileage run and check out the results, right? That’s exactly what I did Thursday.

Click any photo for full screen slideshow

The work is really just starting, though. Delta will renovate its new terminals — adding new Sky Clubs, gates, and much more. According to some on FlyerTalk the whole $1.9 BILLION project won’t be complete until sometime in 2023.

Considering the terminal relocation work took place during just three nights, the results are really impressive. Delta’s branding is all over the place and everything is fairly easy to find.

Terminals 2 and 3 are physically connected landside (pre-security) only. You can pass freely between the two. Airside, though, is another story. We’ll discuss that in a few minutes.

You’ll find the DeltaOne check-in counter at the far east end/beginning of T2.

There are two Sky Priority check-ins.
1. At the beginning of T2, near Delta One and Virgin Atlantic’s check-in counter.

2. Near end of T3 — adjacent to the TSA PreCheck entry. Speaking of which:

TSA PreCheck is offered at the Terminal 2 security checkpoint, despite it not being displayed on the Fly Delta app.

Don’t fret if you get lost or need help. Plenty of pleasant and very proactive LAX reps and Delta employees will answer your questions or direct you to the right place.

Plus, you’ll find these helpful cards all over.

“#WeHaveYourBack”? Holy Richard Anderson flashback, Batman! 😉

Most of the Delta employees seemed pretty happy with the move. I enjoyed seeing familiar faces from the T5 Sky Club working throughout both terminals.

Terminal 2

Prior to Thursday, I hadn’t set foot in Terminal 2 for probably 10-ish years and that was back during the Northwest days. The place then was just blah and food offerings were meh at best (Those days were prior to my holding an American Express Platinum card or anything that scored me membership to a lounge).

LAX invested a ton of money upgrading T2 a few years ago. The improvements are quite nice. Fellow NWA flyers who haven’t been back since will be pleasantly surprised.

It’s not quite the gorgeous Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) — but still very nice.

Terminal 2 Sky Club. Delta’s current Sky Club in T2 is located on the mezzanine level, near the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.

There are two ways to get there:

1. Take the hard-to-miss, lime green elevator (located between the In Motion and Slapfish stores, and across from the food court.)

Or

2. Walk this illuminated staircase.

Right now, the Sky Club is rather makeshift. In fact, Delta calls it the “Delta Sky Club T2 Hospitality Suite.”

You can check-in at the pop-up desk outside the lounge.

The food offerings are basically a buffet of the snack basket offerings in first/business class and Comfort Plus. There’s also some Greek yogurt.

There’s a self-serve bar with a few liquor and wine options.

Sodas and beer can be found in fridge.

The hospitality suite offers nice views of Terminal 3 and a glimpse of runway 24.

You’ll find additional seating outside the club.

Delta and its Sky Team partners operate flights out of Terminals 2, 3, and the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT).

There are two ways to get between the three terminals.

  • Exit the secure area and walk outside. You’ll have to clear security at your next terminal. Not recommended (unless you have oodles of time and crave a walk in the jet fuel scented, smog-choked air outside).
  • Take the Delta bus — a 2-3 minute ride whizzing along the tarmac and past Delta jets! (Highly recommended!)

You’ll find bus stops at gates 22A and gate 35P. Signs throughout the terminals will point you in the right direction. There’s also a map on the back of the “Delta Terminal Changes” cards.

If you’re a fellow AvGeek, get your camera ready!

I refer to the 2-3-TBIT journey as the “The Delta Poor man’s Porsche” 😉

Gate 35P offers some great views of whatever aircraft is parked at gate 35.

Terminal 3

Terminals 2 and 3 are very different.

As I tweeted, if T2 is Rodeo Drive, Terminal 3 is a third-world bus terminal. That, of course, is (slight) hyperbole.

Terminal 3 is, essentially, an oval divided by a cramped, circular hallway. Two big, noisy halls house most gates. I’ve heard and read Delta will completely demolish and rebuild T3. It will give Delta a few more gates and, apparently, T3 isn’t seismically modernized.

Terminal 3 Sky Club

The Sky Club was not ready for business when I visited the morning of May 18 (I was told, it is scheduled to open tomorrow 20 May 2017).

Snacks were offered —

—and a $15 meal voucher provided.

A Starbucks and a Burger King are next to the Sky Club location where vouchers may be redeemed. (I assume they can be used at all other LAX restaurants, too.)

I really hope the renovated Sky Clubs offer views of runway 24. The plane spotting will be epic — especially during late afternoon when the A380s depart!

More Space!

Terminal 5 — Delta’s old home — is sandwiched between Terminals 4 and 6. The alleys between terminals are very narrow. Many of us experienced departure or arrival delays because planes had to be tugged to/from gates.

Great news, though! A Sky Club agent told me Delta tarmac delays should be a nuisance of the past.

There was nothing but space behind this 757!

Terminals 2 and 3 have oodles of real estate between each other and their neighbors. In fact, look at this map. You’ll see Terminals 2 and 3 occupy about as much space as 4, 5 and 6 combined.

GIDS – Gate Information Display Screens

Quick heads-up: not all GIDS have Delta information yet. You’ll need the Fly Delta app to check your upgrade and standby status.

Have you been to Delta’s new homes at LAX? What are your thoughts? Is this a smart move for Delta? What about during the changeover – did you have any issue or were you impressed with Delta? Let me (and Rene) know in the comments below! – Chris

 

Thanks Chris for helping out on this guest post about how things really are on the ground in LAX right now. BTW you can check him out on PointsLounge.com as well as follow him on Twitter @PointsLounge

6 comments

  1. Flew out day one and went extremely smoothly, honestly I’d say the delta employees were overly helpful, personally walking me to each new person handing over my info and then escorting me to the next stop of the human relay.
    My only issue was I received an email from delta telling me to go check in at terminal 2 even though everything else said T5, turns out email was wrong but I didn’t mind because check in was a breeze at T2 vs what I saw at T5

  2. Great report! Thanks, Chris. Now I understand why people were complaining there’s no T2 Sky Club even though it’s listed on their site and in the app as having opened right on schedule. Obviously the Hospitality Suite doesn’t quite fit the definition for many folks, and there’s nothing in the app to suggest it’s just a makeshift SC. Sounds like they’re doing a great job thus far. I’ll miss Lemonade but SURE won’t miss the tunnel!

  3. seems to go backwards with terminals not connected post security could they have waited a little more and done somekind of connectors vs paying other staff and bus drivers etc(at least there is a bus) not quite a bad as SFO with no T1-2- int connections post security!!

  4. @Carl — Thanks! The Hospitality Suite is definitely better than nothing. It’s on par with some The Club locations — and that’s certainly not a bad thing. But it’s still a little underwhelming, considering what we’re used to. I showed up early AM expecting some breakfast-y options (bagels, maybe a frittata or something) but the best they had was yogurt. That was a little disappointing. T3’s SkyClub closure was also disappointing — but, hey, free, um, Burger King. I guess.

    All first world problems, to be sure! 🙂

  5. I flew out of LAX May 15th. I was one of the few flights out of Terminal 6 according to my Delta app. To get to the terminal I was on a Hertz shuttle (as I rented a car while in town). The shuttle driver stopped at Terminal 3 and told me it was Delta. I told him I was out of 6 and he said “there is no Delta terminal 6”. Anyway he checked with one of the plentiful and helpful employees at Terminal 3 who confirmed my flight was out of Terminal 6.

    Once I was dropped off at 6 the only issue was I had to walk to Terminal 5 to actually drop off my checked baggage. Was able to to get into the Terminal 6 Alaska Board Room with my Priority Pass while I waited since i was not near these new sky clubs. Though the check in agents debated if they were allowing priority pass. They let me in but appeared to deny Priority Pass access after me. Sorry if you tried that day and was denied… you can blame me 🙂

  6. Thanks gor the report! In summary it sounds like a nice interim solution: Buses instead of Terminal-Connectors (for me a No-Go to ride bus between terminals); most outbound international connections need now more time buffer again, old terminal layout… . We will see how the progress will be. 🙂
    Q: is there a smoking area inside?

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