Delta Is Moving Forward With Modernization At LAX

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Delta and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) have confirmed that they’re moving forward with the much needed $1.86bn project to bring LAX Terminals 2 & 3 into the 21st Century.

As much as I love LA (and I love it a lot) not even I can call the city’s primary airport anything other than a mess so the investment is very welcome.

LAX is, on the whole, antiquated and although there have been some good positive changes in recent years (like the redevelopment of the Tom Bradley Terminal) the airport is in desperate need of a makeover.

aerial view of an airport

What Are Delta and LAWA Doing?

The aim of the project is to create a 27-gate complex with a secure connection to the Tom Bradley International Terminal which will allow passengers to connect to/from Delta’s partners a lot more easily.

The biggest part of the project will involve effectively joining Terminals 2 and 3 into one large facility by building a “headhouse” with a centralized lobby, TSA screening and baggage claim.

people walking in an airport

Terminal 3 will be completely reconstructed, a bridge will connect Terminals 2 & 3 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal and, as Delta puts it, there will be “a dedicated baggage recheck and security checkpoint for seamless connection of international to domestic transfers, enabling significantly faster connections“.

Other changes will include:

  • The introduction of a “premium retail and dining lineup”
  • The construction of convenient and contemporary restroom facilities
  • More access to power in the gate areas – something which has been needed for years
  • Modern and intuitive signage within the new terminals
  • State-of-the-art finishes (I have no idea what this includes)
  • Emergency power generators for better operational recovery
  • A connection to LAX’s automated people mover, which is expected to be up and running in 2023

Delta says that construction is set to start in the fall.

a group of people walking on an escalator


All the details sound quite promising and LAX has been crying out for this kind of investment for years.

Clearly passengers are going to like the modernization of the LAX terminals as no one likes hanging around the current facilities which are more likely to evoke memories of the cold war than memories of great trips…but it’s the Tom Bradley connector that will be the biggest hit.

Connecting Delta’s operations in T2/T3 directly to the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) will allow passengers from airlines like Air France, KLM, Korean Air and Virgin Australia to connect to Delta’s domestic flights in a seamless fashion (and vice versa) and that’s going to be huge.

As an American Airlines flyer who currently enjoys similar access between T4 and TBIT I can tell you that having a simple connections process is a game changer.

If you’ve just flown across the Pacific the last thing you want to do is face a connections nightmare when you land at LAX but that’s what a lot of travelers have been dealing with. The new connector between T2/T3 and TBIT will make things so much simpler and that cannot come soon enough.