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Where's my gate? Where's my flight? Here’s how to handle the major airline swap at LAX

Going to LAX soon? Watch out for the airport's massive airline relocation. (May 3, 2017) (Sign up for our free video newsletter here http://bit.ly/2n6VKPR)

And you thought LAX couldn’t get more confusing.

The airport’s massive airline relocation that starts Friday night (May 12) involves almost a third of the LAX carriers, in a swap of gates and terminals that may confound even seasoned travelers.

In some situations, flights will check in at one terminal and depart at another.

Most of the moves will take place overnight Friday, Sunday and Tuesday (May 12, 14 and 16), with work starting at the close of operations at night and continuing into the early morning. The work will pause on Saturday and Monday (the nights of May 13 and 15).

Do you have a headache yet? Just wait till you arrive.

The tricky part will be knowing where an airline will be during the five-day transition period. Has it moved? Or is it still in the original location?

This may help: After the day’s flights are over Friday (May 12), Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, Virgin America, Virgin Australia, Sun Country, Volaris and Boutique will move, with completion on Saturday morning.

On Sunday, at the close of operations, Avianca, Delta, InterJet and Spirit will begin moving, with completion set for Monday morning (May 15).

At the end of the day Tuesday, Air Canada, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue and Southwest’s international flights will change locations, finishing Wednesday morning (May 17).

Because of its size, Delta's move will take three nights, the other airlines just one.

Why is this happening? The mass move is a domino effect created by Delta’s desire to move to Terminals 2 and 3 to be closer to its partner airlines.

During the moves, departing passengers are urged to check with their airlines before leaving for LAX and to double-check flight and gate status on arrival.

LAX, the world’s fourth busiest airport, and the airlines have vowed to keep customers posted on their progress with emails and texts. Delta and other airlines will have reps assigned throughout the airport to help guide passengers to the proper gates.

Those who find themselves at the wrong side of the airport can take neon green shuttles between Terminals 2 and 3 and Terminals 5 and 6. The LAX “A” bus can also be used to move around the horseshoe-shaped airport. Buses will circulate before and after TSA check-in to move passengers.

Why is this happening? The mass move is a domino effect created by Delta’s desire to move to Terminals 2 and 3 to be closer to its partner airlines.

The move will also enable Delta to eventually connect directly to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. The airline has pledged to spend $1.9 billion on LAX modifications during the next seven years.

Terminals 7 and 8, the home of United and United Express, are not affected by the moves.

Airline locations

after May 17

Tom Bradley International Terminal (Terminal B) Terminal 3 Terminal 2 Terminal 1 Terminal connector Terminal 4 Terminal 5 Terminal 6 Terminal 7 Terminal 8

Terminal 1

  • Southwest (International flights arrive at Terminal B)*

Terminal 2

  • Aer Lingus
  • Aeromexico
  • Delta
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia (check-in)*
  • Volaris (check-in)*

Terminal 3

  • Avianca (check-in)*
  • Copa (check-in)*
  • Delta
  • Interjet (check-in)*
  • WestJet

Terminal 4

  • American

Terminal 5

  • Allegiant (arrivals/departures)*
  • American American Eagle (Bus to gates 52A and 52J)
  • Frontier (arrivals/departures)*
  • Hawaiian
  • JetBlue
  • Spirit
  • Sun Country (arrivals/departures)*

Terminal 6

  • Air Canada
  • Alaska
  • Allegiant (check-in)*
  • Boutique Air
  • Frontier (check-in)*
  • Great Lakes
  • Mokulele
  • Sun Country (check-in)*
  • Virgin America
  • XL Airways France

Tom Bradley International Terminal (Terminal B)

  • Aeroflot
  • Air Berlin
  • Air China
  • Air France
  • Air New Zealand
  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Alitalia
  • All Nippon
  • Asiana
  • Austrian
  • Avianca (check-in at Terminal 3)*
  • British
  • Cathay Pacific
  • China
  • China Eastern
  • China Southern
  • Copa (check-in at Terminal 3)*
  • El Al Israel
  • Emirates
  • Ethiopian
  • Etihad
  • EVA Air
  • Fiji
  • Hainan
  • Iberia
  • Interjet (check-in at Terminal 3)*
  • JAL (Japan)
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM
  • Lot
  • Lufthansa
  • Norwegian Air
  • Philippines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airlines
  • Saudia
  • Scandinavian
  • Sichuan
  • Singapore
  • Southwest (international flight arrivals)*
  • Swiss
  • Thomas Cook
  • Transaero
  • Turkish
  • Virgin Australia (check-in at Terminal 2)*
  • Volaris (check-in at Terminal 2)*
  • Wow Air

*Travelers beware

  • Avianca, Copa and Interjet passengers check in at Terminal 3, but flights depart or arrive at Terminal B.
  • Allegiant, Frontier and Sun Country passengers check in at Terminal 6 and depart or arrive at Terminal 5.
  • Virgin Australia and Volaris passengers check in at Terminal 2, but flights depart or arrive at Terminal B.
  • Southwest passengers check in and depart at Terminal 1, but Southwest international flights will arrive at Terminal B.

The websites offering updates on the progress of the move:

LAX: www.lawa.org

LAX Is Happening: www.laxishappening.com

Delta: delta.com/skywayatlax

On Twitter, travelers can track changes at:

#LAXontheMOVE

@LAAirportPD

travel@latimes.com

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