Major changes coming to airline locations at LAX

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Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has confirmed a series of major moves for almost 30% of its airlines over the course of 5 days in mid May 2017. New York Concierge has put together an overview of the changes and how it will affect Australians travelling through Los Angeles to New York.

The  major driving force of the airline shuffle between different terminals is the relocation of Delta Air Lines as it moves from its current home in terminals 5 and 6 across the airport to the northern side terminals of 2 and 3, which have recently been refurbished.

Los Angeles Airport has taken great pride in the preparation for this major move, providing constant updates through its website and social media accounts.

If you are planning on transiting through LAX or flying into or out of the airport between May 12th and May 17th 2017 the airport is advising to allow extra time and to know which terminal your airline will be in based on the day of travel.

Each affected airline will be making the required moves during their allocated night(s) and are expected to be fully operational during the following day(s). That being said as this will be a large ongoing process there is bound to be unforeseen headaches. Patience and preparation of all travellers will be key during the busy changeover week.

You may also like: LAX opens Terminal 4 to Tom Bradley Connector

How are Australian travellers going to be affected?

Thankfully Qantas and American Airlines have already completed all of their expected terminal moves (in Qantas’ case these had been completed over 3 years ago) and United Airlines are not moving terminals.

However Virgin Australia, Delta and Hawaiian Airlines will all be impacted at different times.

Virgin Australia

Virgin will be making a relatively short move. As it is a small number of airlines that operate split functionality at LAX, currently check-in occurs for flights to Australia in Terminal 3, while flights depart from the impressive Tom Bradley International Terminal (located right next to Terminal 3). On the evening of May 12th all check-in’s for Virgin Australia flights to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne will occur in Terminal 2.

Terminal 2 is still on the northern side of the airfield (adjacent to terminal 3) however slightly further away from Tom Bradley. All flights will continue to depart from Tom Bradley and checked in passengers will have the option of clearing security in Terminal 2 and catching a bus across to Tom Bradley terminal, or in my experience it can be sometimes quicker to check-in and drop your luggage at Terminal 2 and then make the short walk to TBIT.

Related: Virgin Australia to recommence Melbourne to Los Angeles flights

There are no changes to Virgin Australia flights arriving into Los Angeles from Australia, all flights will continue to arrive into the vastly improved Tom Bradley Interantional Terminal. Transit times across to Virgin Australia’s code-share partner, Delta, are expected to remain virtually the same as passengers will now need to clear immigration and customs and proceed to terminals 2 and 3 for their connecting flights to New York and other US destinations.

If you are transiting directly to a Delta flight New York Concierge recommends that instead of waiting for the interterminal bus to take you from TBIT to terminal 2 / 3 for check-in I recommend that you take the short walk (no more than 10 minutes) with trolleys readily available in the baggage collection area, and the crisp morning air makes for a pleasant change after 15+ hours stuck in terminals and on planes.

Delta Air Lines

The driving force behind the massive game is Delta’s decision to relocated from Terminal 5 and 6 on the Southern side of the airport across to the new and improved Terminals 2 and 3.

Delta’s operations will be moved (in a somewhat hurculean effort) on the night of May 12th and be fully operation from the morning of May 13th 2017 in terminals 2 and 3. Passengers arriving at LAX will notice a shorter ride to the airport with far easier access to terminals 2 and 3 rather than trying to fight the traffic all the way around before being being dropped off at terminals 5 and 6.

Passengers transiting directly onto flights to New York will find the transfer a little easier as terminals 2 and 3 have recently undergone massive improvements across all facets of the terminal including the transfer process.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian is moving in the opposite direction to Delta, as it moves from terminal 2 across the airport to terminal 5. Hawaiian’s changeover is slated for the evening of May 16th and as with all moves expected to be fully completed by early morning of the 17th.

LAX has also put built a small website which further explains all the movements and new maps of the terminal locations once the changes have all been implemented: http://www.laxishappening.com/laxonthemove.aspx

Who is moving where and when

Below is a full list of which airlines are moving terminals at LAX, which terminals they are moving to and the day(s) in which they will be moving.

AirlineMoving out of:Moving in to:Effective from:
Air CanadaTerminal 2Terminal 6May 17th
AllegiantTerminal 3Terminal 5 (Terminal 6 check‐in) Passengers walk from T6 to T5May 13th
AviancaTerminal 2TBIT (Terminal 3 check‐in) Passengers walk from T3 to TBITMay 15th
Boutique AirTerminal 3Terminal 6May 13th
Delta Air LinesTerminal 5 / 6Terminal 2 / 3May 13th
FrontierTerminal 3Terminal 5 (Terminal 6 check‐in) Passengers walk from T6 to T5May 13th
HawaiianTerminal 2Terminal 5May 17th
InterjetTerminal 2Tom Bradley International Terminal (Terminal 3 check‐in) Passengers walk from T3 to TBITMay 15th
JetBlueTerminal 3Terminal 5May 17th
QatarTerminal 2Tom Bradley International TerminalMay 1st
Southwest (International flights)Terminal 2 (Terminal 1 check-in)TBIT (Terminal 1 check‐in) Passengers bused ffrom T1 to TBITMay 17th
SpiritTerminal 3Terminal 5May 15th
Sun CountryTerminal 2Terminal 5 (Terminal 6 check‐in) Passengers walk from T6 to T5May 13th
Thomas CookTerminal 2Tom Bradley International TerminalMay 1st
Virgin AmericaTerminal 3Terminal 6May 13th
Virgin AustraliaTom Bradley International Terminal (Terminal 3 check‐in)Tom Bradley International Terminal (Terminal 2 check‐in) Passengers bused from T2 to TBITMay 13th
VolarisTerminal 2Tom Bradley International Terminal (Terminal 2 check‐in) Passengers bused from T2 to TBITMay 13th
XL FranceTerminal 2Terminal 6June 4th

Map of the reconfigured Los Angeles Airport terminals

New airline locations at LAX. Source: Los Angeles International Airport

LAX has put together a list of FAQs to help travellers navigate during the changeover period:

How will passengers know where to go?

• Passengers should first confirm terminal and gate information with their airline before leaving for LAX. Gate numbers reflect the terminals they are in (Terminal 6 contains gates 60‐69).

• Upon entering the airport, updated signs will direct passengers to their terminal. Some flights have check‐in at one terminal with departure from another.

• All ground transportation services (e.g. taxis, shuttles, Uber and Lyft ) and airport partners (e.g. TSA, CBP) will be updated on the airlines’ new terminal locations.

• During the week of the move, passengers can expect some 500 new way‐finding signs, additional airport personnel, and dedicated way‐finders to assist with passenger navigation.

What happens if passengers arrive at the wrong side of the airport?

• Neon green shuttle buses will be available to transport passengers between Terminals 2/3 and 5/6.

• Passengers can also use the free LAX “A” bus which operates between terminals every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What else do passengers need to know?

• Staff in neon green vests will direct passengers and answer questions in pre‐security areas.

• Checking‐in online and printing a boarding pass before arriving at LAX is best.

• Plan ahead and allow for extra time for walking. Some flights have check‐in at one terminal with departure from another.

• After check‐in, some airlines will bus passengers to a different terminal for departure

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