Travelers beware: Delta Air Lines is about to begin a massive move of its operations at its Los Angeles hub.
It’s a gargantuan effort that will cause hassles for travelers and will require 20 other airlines to relocate at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Delta "will set off a move of airlines never before seen at a major U.S. airport," said LAX operator Los Angeles World Airports in a press release.
Atlanta-based Delta is relocating from Terminals 5 and 6 to Terminals 2 and 3 at LAX, allowing it to expand and be closer to international partner carriers. The move, which has required months of preparation, will start Friday May 12 and take until Wednesday May 17 to complete.
Most of the moving will happen overnight on May 12, 14 and 16. During some parts of the move, Delta will operate flights from four different terminals at LAX.
Those traveling through Los Angeles during the relocation and the weeks following should check in online, print their boarding passes and check their terminal and gate information before heading to the airport.
They should allow extra time for walking through the airport – Delta is advising passengers traveling through LAX during the move to arrive at least three hours before domestic flights and at least four hours before international flights. The airline also plans for its Fly Delta app to offer turn-by-turn directions.
Once arriving at LAX, passengers should check their flight and gate status again and look for signs to make sure they head to the right place. Hundreds of Delta and airport employees will be stationed around the airport to help customers find their way.
Connecting between some terminals will require shuttle rides that can take up to 45 minutes and walks of up to 35 minutes, according to Delta’s website on the move.
Some airlines will bus passengers to a different terminal after check-in to get to their departing gate.
Delta says town hall meetings and weeks of advertising has been targeted at informing travelers about the move, and the airline plans to give information on departure and arrival terminals and gates through text messages, emails, its app and other ways.
Including airlines that are relocating before and after the Delta move, a total of 28 carriers are affected by Delta’s shift.
Once the move is complete, Delta will be located closer to its international partners including new joint venture partner Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic and WestJet. It will have a bus between Terminals 2 and 3 and the international terminal so customers don’t have to leave the secure part of the airport and go through security again to connect.
Delta also plans to eventually have a “Delta Sky Way” secure connection to the international terminal where more of its partners operate, including Air France-KLM, Alitalia, China Eastern, China Southern and Korean Air.
Once remodeling is complete, Delta will have a private check-in lounge for business class customers, fast check-in for Delta Shuttle flights and other improvements. The modernization also comes amid Los Angeles’ bid for the 2024 summer Olympics.
The move, remodeling and Sky Way are part of $1.9 billion in improvements Delta plans at LAX over the next seven years. The airline struck a lease deal with Los Angeles World Airports last year for the relocation.
Delta operates about 175 flights per day from Los Angeles International, more than doubling its presence since 2009. Its routes include shuttle flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
Delta just completed a redevelopment of Terminal 5 at LAX in 2015 with a remodeled Sky Club, renovated Sky Priority lobby and premium check-in, new jet bridges and baggage carousels and updated concessions.