Q&A: A primer on what to expect when 15 airlines switch terminals at LAX

At a Friday news conference, Mayor Eric Garcetti encourages travelers to check-in from home, arrive early.
(Chris Erskine / Los Angeles Times)

The biggest airline terminal relocation in LAX history begins May 12, a Friday night, and continues during Mother’s Day weekend and into the following week.

Here’s what you need to know about how it will alter the airport— and your navigation of it:

When will the work take place?

Beginning the night of May 12 and into the morning of May 13. For the most part, the relocations will take place when travelers are not around. The mega-move is scheduled to be completed by the start of the work day May 17.


How will I know when my airline is moving during that five-day period?

The airlines moving on May 12 after the day’s flights are over:

Delta, Allegiant, Frontier, Virgin America, Virgin Australia, Sun Country, Volaris and Boutique.

Completion will be May 13.

Moving on May 14 after the day’s flights are over: Avianca, Delta, InterJet and Spirit.

Completion is set for the morning of May 15.

Moving May 16 after the day’s flights are over: Air Canada, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue and Southwest’s international flights.

Completion set for the morning of May 17. Delta’s move is expected to take three nights.

How can I keep track of delays or changes in the plan?

LAX offers two websites just for that purpose: and Also, on Delta site: On Twitter, travelers can track #LAXontheMOVE, @LAAirportPD and @flyLAXairport

Is there a hot line to call?

No. If you’re not computer literate, there are few alternatives other than to call your airline, or seeing one of the many green-, red- or blue-vested guides once you arrive.

What’s the point of moving so many airlines?

Delta signed a lease last year to relocate to the other side of the airport, from Terminals 5 and 6 to Terminals 2 and 3. A total of 28 airlines were affected by the realignment. Fifteen of them will move in the May 12-17 period.

Why did Delta want to move?

To be closer to its partner airlines, such as Virgin Atlantic and WestJet, and to eventually connect to the Tom Bradley International Terminal, where other partners are.

The mega-move, paid for by Delta, bumps other airlines to Delta’s old quarters in Terminals 5 and 6.

Major upgrades are planned for Delta’s new space, including improved seating, traffic flow and concessions. The move does add some balance to the horseshoe-shaped airport, where heavyweights Delta, American and United had previously been clustered on the south end.

Did Delta pick up space?

Yes, seven extra gates.

What do Delta passengers need to know during the move?

Delta flights may operate out of as many as four terminals during the change-over: 2, 3, 5 and 6. Delta’s move is the biggest and may take multiple nights.

What airlines won’t be affected by the move?

American (Terminal 4) and United (Terminals 7 and 8) will stay put. Southwest will still operate out of Terminal 1, but Southwest international flights will arrive in the Bradley terminal.

When will the signs change?

It’s supposed to happen overnight, as the work progresses in three waves. LAX says 1,000 signs will be created or modified as part of the move.

How will ground transportation adjust?

Taxis, shuttles, Uber and Lyft will be updated on the new locations throughout the transition.

What if I find myself on the wrong side of the airport?

Green-wrapped buses that say “LAXontheMOVE” will shuttle passengers between terminals.Shuttles will also be available on the secure side of TSA check-points, should passengers find themselves in the wrong place.

What other steps can passengers take before going to the airport?

Call the airline to confirm your flight’s gate and terminal. Upon arrival, double-check display boards to be sure there have been no changes. Print your boarding pass before arriving if possible, to avoid possible glitches with check-in kiosks. A carry-on bag will avoid delays in baggage tagging and handling.

A small army of staff members will be assigned around the airport, including some in neon-green vests. Guides will also be dressed in blue and red.

Will TSA be affected?


Will TSA stop me from going to the wrong terminal?

No, because a boarding pass can be used at any LAX terminal.

How early should I arrive during the transition?

Passengers traveling between May 12-17 are advised to arrive three hours in advance of their domestic flights and four hours for international trips.

This occurs on Mother’s Day weekend. Couldn’t officials pick a less-busy weekend?

Actually, they examined all possibilities. Airline reps say Mother’s Day weekend is apparently slower than a typical weekend.

Twitter: @erskinetimes


A map on the new terminal layout at LAX

Round trip to New Orleans from LAX for $245 on Delta

How to get a helicopter hop between Manhattan and JFK airport with your next Delta flight