The Delta Air Lines T2 LAX experience – What you can expect flying Delta in Los Angeles

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Delta sent me a warning email you see above and they were wise to do so. They “bragged up” the successful change over from T5/6 to T2/3 as an amazing accomplishment with as little passenger disruption as possible.

Now there are years, yes, years of work ahead of them and boy is it ever needed. Delta is saying there have been immediate improvements from the move including more on-time flights. Having myself, in the past, sat on the runway longer than my flights this, I am sure, is true as it is hard to imagine it being worse.

At check-in on the app (and with signs at the airport) you are warned about luggage and you may have to go to T2 before you go to your assigned gate at another terminal. Confusing? Yep!

More positives about LAX is CLEAR. If you are a frequent flyer and do not yet have CLEAR you don’t get it – so go get it! Having never been to T2 before my first impression is very different from the old Delta concourse. It has much more of an international feel if you will but also it feels smaller than the old one. Maybe that is just me.

Just to the left once you enter T2, next to gate 22A, is where you catch the shuttle bus if you are needing to change terminals as there is, as of today, no way to walk post security. As you can see from the maps above pre-security could be much faster but requires clearing security again this way.

Once you head downstairs there is a tiny holding area with two lines to T3 or TBIT terminals. Here is the deal – if you time it right you are golden.

If you miss the shuttle it can be a rather lengthy wait. You must plan for this and if you are delayed and trying to get from one to another this will be frustrating.

Having said that once on it is a quick ride between T2 & T3 and a little longer over to TBIT and the views are amazing (more on that later).

In addition to the international feel of this small terminal one of the most notable features is the grand staircase up to the Sky Club (there is an elevator as well you can not miss).

Beyond this is an open seating area with lots of power ports. Nice since we all have way too many gadgets that all need power nowadays right?

Trying not to sound repetitive I am stunned how small this terminal feels compared to T5. The results, at times, can be this:

What a total mess. If there is one single lasting impression of Delta and LAX right now it is the above and it is even worse over at T3 as I will share later in a post.

Then there is a LOT to do as almost 2 months after the “historic terminal swap at LAX [was] completed” as there are a great many things that are not working or yet to be installed.

Now my personal thoughts. Other than for operational speed of getting from landing to the gate I don’t get this change at least not short term for Delta. LAX is a hot mess and will be for many years. The shot above, to me, sums up what your experience will be for a long time to come. Confusion, delays, construction and crowds – Ugg!

While the Sky Club in T2, as I will share next, is a bright spot in all of this with stunning AVgeek runway views even it has a long way to go. My advice is avoid LAX for years if you can if you are connecting on Delta. Consider any of the other hubs i.e. SEA or SLC or SFO if you can.

Have you endured the new Delta LAX yet? Am I being too harsh on Delta? Feel free to share you thoughts and impressions in the comments below! – René

 

20 comments

  1. I am in LAX right now and have just experienced the boarding process yesterday at the small gate area which seemed more like a mob scene. Unfortunately the Delta agents do nothing to stop the stampede. No one is turned back if they’re boarding at the incorrect time. It seemed out of control.

  2. This should not be a surprise folks, Delta is greedy and will pile as many of you on top of each other as humanly possible. Crowded planes, terminals and clubs- YIPPEE. Isn’t it great being a Diamond?

  3. On the day I was at both T2 and T3, T3 was so overcrowded it was a fire hazard. If it had been a concert venue the police would have cleared out at least half the people. I tweeted Delta that fact and suggested Ed Bastian try that terminal (and the ridiculously small Sky Club) and see how he likes it.

  4. I’m here now in Delta Sky Club T 3. No seats left and food is mostly like stopping at a gas station. In other words just a few junk food items in bags rather than hot food.

    I will heed Rene’s advise and do SFO next time.

  5. Keep complaining on the Delta website. Be as specific as possible (pictures help) and ask for compensation (points). If they come to the realization that this may affect their bottom line, maybe they will fire the person in charge of this debacle (or at least cut his pay or bonuses). And, of course, keep encouraging Delta execs to fly through LAX.

    LAX has always been one of the worst airports to fly through (right in there with EWR and JFK) … and now Delta has made it even worse!!

  6. LAX should be bulldozed and rebuilt like ATL, but of course that’s not feasible.

    Patience is needed. The move is good for DL and pax long-term, it’s just going to take [a long time].

  7. I flew out of T3 last week on a LAX-BOS run and while the terminal was no problem to navigate, the same cannot be said for the gates. Tiny. Capital T Tiny. Could be easily confused with municipal airport tiny. So expect frustration for years to come on that front, as there is limited real estate for Delta to work with.

    Regarding the email Delta sent regarding baggage check: Ignore it. It lent to confusion that was unneeded unless you were flying LAX-JFK or LAX-MSP. For any other domestic flight, proceed to T3 and it is instantly apparent where to go/what to do to check in and move on to security.

  8. No wonder all the flights I look at for work travel are much cheaper through LAX. But I will pay more to avoid it.

  9. Terminal 3 is a joke. We’ve flown twice out of this terminal since the move. The food options were dirty and limited. The seating and space within the terminal was also limited and extremely overcrowded. This feels like such a downgrade for loyal Delta LAX customers. Term 5 was a construction zone for 3 years and just after it gets completed they decide to move terminals. The time on the tarmac at T5 was an issue for anyone connecting, I hope this move at least improves that aspect.

  10. A few things that struck me on a recent departure from T2 were 1) rental car shuttles drop you off at the far end of the terminal, which is nowhere near sky priority, 2) Delta One check-in is even further away and generally useless because sky priority has more agents, 3) Virgin Atlantic check-in is between regular check-in and sky priority, and there were at least a dozen people sleeping on their carry-ons there in the middle of the day (maybe to avoid paying for a hotel or anything else due to long layovers?), 4) when you arrive at the top of the grand staircase, there are dozens of people sitting on the floor or sprawled on the furniture, which is not a good look for Delta, and 5) most of the gates are not wide enough for premium or sky priority passengers to get through when those are called. T2 is a disaster!

  11. Terminal 5&6 were modern and spacious . The move to the sixties era terminal is not a well thought move . The terminal is very small and dated the Sky Club is like a shoe closet not spacious but updated . The best Sky Club is the Flagship in Seattle. Nothing compares in LAX . I been flying out of LAX since before Delta mereged with Western Airlines and going back to terminal 2&3 is a big step backwards .

  12. A recent trip through LAX with connections has moved LAX to 2nd on my US airport list! That’s right it is 2nd worst, just having passed Philadelphia and now vieing with LGA. Let’s see-seating for 200 with flights holding 750, bathrooms for 50, skyclub holding 50 (with a 1 stall restroom), inadequate restaurants, poorly marked signage, ridiculous shuttle buses, in/out of security-I felt like I was in a third world country-but no, just treated by Delta to a 3rd world experience. Hello, McFly, your own pre-flight safety announcements say you fly for only 1 reason-us. Well”us” isn’t working for you, and like other Diamond’s I am using alternative carriers or airports to avoid anything through LAX.

  13. Perspective: Delta gains more then 10 new gates from this move. They are required to spend nearly $2B to improve the facilities over the next five years or so. They had no option to do renovations first, then move. LAWA required the move to be completed first. There is no way around the fact that this is lipstick on a pig until that $2B investment is made. The place will be completely different when the project is complete. This is the price to be paid for what will be afar better facility in the long-term. Virtually nothing you see today will be the same in five years.

  14. random news: A guy died in Maho beach due to falling and hitting his head after the turbine blew him.

    😐

  15. 50K says that in the five years + when the $2B is done, a year after that something will happen to cause some other change or upheaval.

    T2 and T3 are completely depressing. The Delta one area looks more like a train station, and there are severe crowding problems in every part of T2.

    I haven’t had time to go to the Sky Club yet because every time I’ve flown, the crowding problems have caused such delays at security.

    What a waste of money that Delta spent on making T5 so lovely and nice. And the second it’s done, now this.

    Delta may be planning a stronger presence and/or more connections in the future … but another 50K says a lot of that doesn’t come to fruition. Too much relies on other airlines and what those plans are. Can’t see American just handing over their lucrative Asia routes to Delta.

    More gates are nice, but I don’t believe that connections in the past was that severe of a problem, simply because there just aren’t that many connections to LA and the ones that there are, are usually 4+ hours.

    I may have to just kick down for the ultra private terminal so I can bypass the time warp of T2.

  16. can’t wait have to change planes in LAX this week to go to SAN!!!!!sounds horrid…but have never had any good LAX experiences there …will try to avoid in the future!!!!

  17. Let’s look at the bright side – change is coming, and when it’s done, it’ll be really nice. I hated the old terminals – they were awful too, so if you put it against being in them, just consider it a continuation and the first step on the path to a great setup.
    I passed through the SkyClub in T3 twice in the last week – and listen – it’s not a delta sky club, and they’re doing the best they can – but I think they’re going above and beyond trying to make it work.. and I agree, the runway views are awesome.

    That being said, I spent 2 hours in the Centurion Lounge in LAS on that same trip – worst lounge I’ve ever been in and will most definitely NEVER go back.

  18. what was delta thinking when moving to T3 should have waited 2 more years to fix it up

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