DELTA NEWS ON THE GO. Subscribe and follow.

The epic terminal move spearheaded by Delta at Los Angeles International Airport has not only improved Delta’s on-time performance, it’s improved all the major airlines’ on-time performance.

So says Brett Snyder, writer of the influential aviation blog Cranky Flier. Snyder looked at data for 18 comparable days in April and June, before and after the move.

Finishing touches at Delta's new LAX home
“When Delta moved from Terminals 5 and 6 over to Terminals 2 and 3 in Los Angeles, one of the touted benefits was that every airline’s operation would improve. Taking an early look at results, things are looking very good indeed,” wrote Snyder, who has worked for several airlines.

Before the move, Snyder explained, the biggest U.S. carriers, including Delta, American and United, flew from the airport’s south side and put a heavier burden on those runways. With Delta on the other side, the runways are more balanced.

The early verdict for on-time performance: “There were big gains for all the airlines, but Delta’s gain was enormous. We’re talking almost a 20 point improvement there. And I should note that this happened in June, a busier time period with 2.5 percent more Delta flights than during the April period. This is a fantastic result.”

The terminal shuffle involved 15 airlines, Delta being the largest. Thousands of employees and contractors handled Delta’s share of the work over three nights in May, managing everything from moving IT infrastructure and aircraft to directing customers.

Since the move, Delta’s operations and customer service teams at LAX have been focused on improving on-time departures, in particular ensuring the first flights of the day depart on time to set up a strong operation for the rest of the day.

Long-term, the terminal move clears the way for the Delta Sky Way at LAX, Delta’s $1.9 billion plan to modernize and connect Terminals 2, 3 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX during the next seven years.

LAX Terminal Move