What's Delta's plan at LAX? Expect it to move to Terminals 2 and 3 eventually

 Delta may move terminals at Los Angeles International Airport. Photo:  JerandSar Gimbel /Flickr (Creative Commons)

Delta may move terminals at Los Angeles International Airport. Photo: JerandSar Gimbel/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Los Angeles International Airport is briefing other airlines on Delta Air Lines' proposed move from Terminals 5 and 6 to Terminals 2 and 3, a plan could include a new connector inside security to the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Under the plan, Delta eventually could control between 22 and 27 gates in Terminals 2 and 3, a source familiar with the tentative plans said. Delta would also have access to gates at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. This is a big improvement from today. I'm told Delta now controls 13 gates in Terminal 5 with access to a few more in Terminal 6. Given how Delta is trying to a major operation in Los Angeles, this is not a lot of gates. 

I do not know when Delta would move, but I hear the airline might go relatively soon. Delta could then renovate while operating from the new space, a source tells me. 

Today, I understand Terminals 2 and 3 have a combined 23 gates, but apparently there could be room for more. One problem now with Terminals 2 and 3 is that they are not connected inside security to the airport's main international terminal. But I hear Delta may be willing to help solve that problem. 

LAX is distributing a slide that shows how the airport could look after 2020, when a a new  Midfield Satellite Concourse, or MSC, is slated to open. Last I heard, that expansion would add 11 gates.

This map includes Virgin America as a separate airline, so presumably that will need a fix. But I imagine that won't be too difficult. And remember, all this could change at any time.

To make this all happen, a bunch of airlines would have to move, including these:

Air Canada: Terminal 2 to Terminal 6
Hawaiian Air: Terminal 2  to Terminal 5
JetBlue: Terminal 3  to Terminal 6
Spirit: Terminal 3 >Terminal 6
Virgin America (Alaska): Terminal 3 to Terminal 5
American: It would swap four gates it now has in Terminal 6 for 4 gates in Terminal 5.

There are now several international airlines operating in Terminal 2 not accounted for on the map. I do not know where they would go, but presumably they will find space. Some, like Aeromexico, are SkyTeam members, so it's possible they could stay with Delta.

Do you know more about LAX's plan? Contact me directly. This link goes straight to my personal email.

I asked Delta about its plans. Here's what a spokeswoman said:

Delta has signed a Letter of Intent with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to negotiate a lease to rehabilitate Terminals 2 and 3 at Los Angeles International Airport and relocate Delta’s operations. The proposal remains subject to approval by the LAWA board of airport commissioners and the Los Angeles city council. If approved, we believe the project will lead to further improvements at LAX and an enhanced experience for our customers.

Update: In the comments section, some of you have noted that the map does not appear accurate when it comes to American Airlines. This post is really about Delta's moves but I'll see what I can learn about American's future. Stay tuned. 

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