LOS ANGELES - One of the largest terminal moves in commercial aviation history is well under way at Los Angeles International Airport, with Delta leading the charge.
As the last flights departed from Terminals 5 and 6 overnight Friday and Saturday, workers took down widget branding and signs while other workers began installing Delta kiosks and check-in counters in Terminals 2 and 3.
The three-night move, which has been months in the planning and communicated to customers through an extensive awareness campaign, involves 15 airlines, though Delta’s move is the most extensive. The move is a precursor to the Delta Sky Way at LAX, Delta’s $1.9 billion plan to modernize, upgrade and connect Terminals 2, 3 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX over the next seven years.
Friday night and into Saturday morning, the move and Delta operations went smoothly despite a few hiccups. The airline brought in 170 movers, about 1,000 construction workers, and hundreds of volunteers from across the U.S. tasked with keeping customers on track to their destination.
“Our team has worked around the clock – literally - to successfully tow aircraft to new locations, roll out updated signage, begin branding at our new gates and move furniture and ground service equipment to new locations,” said Ranjan Goswami, Vice President – Sales, West. “Delta people have done their utmost to ensure customers would not be disrupted. We want everyone to get where they need to go."
Customers began arriving before 4 a.m., hours before flights – as the public awareness campaign urged – and many were greeted by some of the 200 Delta’s “Peach Corps” volunteers. Wearing yellow vests saying “Ask Me” on the back, the volunteers provided guidance and advice for customers who needed it.
Delta’s first flight arrived at Terminal 3 just before 5 a.m. from Maui, welcomed by more than 100 local Delta employees, cheering and holding lighted wands on the tarmac.
In all, Delta shifted four gates from Terminal 5 and four gates from Terminal 6 to Terminal 3. The move resumes overnight Sunday and Tuesday nights.
Luisa Mazariegos, a Ready Reserve customer service worker, said Delta customers seemed well aware of the move and many seemed excited at the history being made and the prospect of upgraded facilities.
“It’s exciting to be a part of this,” she said. “We’re just trying to keep a smile and be extra helpful so customers feel reassured that we’ll do what we have to do to get them to their flight.”
Delta’s relocation to Terminals 2 and 3 required an extensive construction effort, which included building new baggage systems and offices, employee lounge areas, ramp offices and IT systems for all of the airlines moving into Terminals 5 and 6 and for Delta’s new space in Terminals 2 and 3.
Watch b-roll of the LAX move and soundbites from a Delta executive on Delta News Hub.