Delta's Enormous New LAX Terminal Now Complete—Take a Peek Inside
If you're planning to travel with Delta Air Lines to or from Los Angeles International Airport, get ready for an entirely new travel experience.
It's been a long time coming—more than five years, to be precise—but finally, Delta Air Lines passengers can enjoy a cutting-edge 27-gate terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. In August, the Atlanta-based airline successfully concluded its $2.3 billion LAX project, which commenced in 2018. This significant undertaking is a part of a broader overhaul of the entire airport, encompassing the establishment of an Automated People Mover (APM) and a consolidated car rental facility.
Delta's extensive renovation of Terminal 3, which also includes a section of Terminal 2 and spans a total of 1.2 million square feet, was completed an impressive 18 months ahead of schedule. How did they achieve such an early finish? Scott Santoro, Delta's vice president of sales, attributes this success to the slowdown in travel demand during the pandemic. This downturn provided Delta with a unique opportunity to accelerate its transformation, as reduced traveler numbers allowed for greater flexibility and construction space. According to Santoro, the airline is now fully equipped to provide passengers with a "seamless and elevated experience."
As the largest carrier at LAX, holding nearly 20 percent of the market share with 145 daily flights in October, this is a significant milestone for travelers departing from, connecting through, or arriving at the Southern California hub.
Here's what you can anticipate the next time you traverse through Delta's transformed terminal.
A sitting area in the new Delta One facility at LAX with comfortable armchairs, coffee tables adorned with yellow orchids, and contemporary artwork. Delta One travelers can now wait for their flight in style at the new Delta LAX complex. An exclusive check-in area for Delta One passengers
Let's rewind to 2022 for a moment. The phased introduction of Delta's new facilities began in the spring of the previous year, with the introduction of a centralized headhouse that consolidated check-in, security, and baggage claim areas. This grand structure features 56 self-serve kiosks, 62 check-in counters, and an expansive 250-square-foot digital wall displaying flight and gate information.
Fast forward to 2023. Earlier this summer, Delta unveiled an exclusive check-in area for Delta One passengers traveling on transcontinental or long-haul international flights. Nestled on the arrivals level of Terminal 3, this 4,200-square-foot space not only offers top-tier assistance from Delta agents but also provides light food and beverages, a private TSA screening lane, and direct access to the Sky Club on the upper floor. Travelers using this elegant facility won't even need to enter the main terminal until it's time to board.
Later this fall, Delta is set to introduce a digital ID feature, enabling passengers to check in with their bags entirely hands-free using facial recognition technology. To use this service, passengers will need to opt-in and provide their SkyMiles number, passport number, and Known Traveler Number (used for TSA PreCheck).
Delta's Terminal 3 at LAX, featuring a spacious white interior and a large colorful art installation overhead. The Delta terminals at LAX are now connected to the Tom Bradley International Terminal via a moving walkway. Delta's Terminal 2 and 3 complex now links to Tom Bradley
As of August, travelers will no longer need to wait for shuttle buses to transfer between terminals. Delta's Terminal 2 and 3 complex, spanning 27 gates, is now fully integrated under one roof. This includes a connector to the Tom Bradley International Terminal, accessible via moving walkways after passing through security. The airline ensures that even the farthest gates within its own terminals are no more than a 10-minute walk away. To get from the Delta gates to the furthest Tom Bradley gates, travelers should allow for about 20 minutes of walking time.
At the heart of the terminal complex lies Delta's expansive 30,000-square-foot Sky Club, which opened last year (with an additional 100 seats added this past summer). The standout feature is arguably the outdoor bar and a year-round Sky Deck offering views of the airfield, Hollywood Hills, and downtown Los Angeles. There are plenty of other amenities, including eight spacious shower suites, private phone booths, and a "Coffee Grotto," a cozy nook within the lounge with plush seating and a mosaic mural composed of glass tiles imported from Italy. Naturally, there's an abundance of food and beverage options, making it an impressive choice by U.S. airline club standards.
The Coffee Grotto, featuring banquet seats and colorful artwork. The Coffee Grotto is one of several stylish seating areas at the new Delta Sky Club at LAX. Throughout the terminal complex, both airside and landside, sustainability features have been integrated, such as low-flow water fixtures, the recycling of over 75 percent of construction waste, and a "cool roof" to reduce the heat-island effect and maximize air-conditioning energy efficiency.
Delta's upcoming business-class-only lounges
There's one final piece of the puzzle that Delta has yet to reveal. In mid-2022, Delta announced its plans to introduce high-end, business-class-only lounges in both New York and Los Angeles. These spaces are designed to compete with United's Polaris Lounge and American's Flagship Lounge. At LAX, the Delta One exclusive club is set to open by next summer, connecting to the existing Sky Club and encompassing approximately 10,000 square feet.
If it's anything like the rest of the terminal complex, Delta is poised for success. The entire consolidated Terminal 2 and 3 complex is impressive by any standard, representing a significant improvement for LAX, an airport that has been in need of a makeover (and is now getting one).