Flying out of LAX? Plan to get there early. Really early.

By Cailey Rizzo
May 10, 2017
Photo by FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Los Angeles Airport will undergo the largest terminal switch in its history, meaning travelers flying out of LAX over the next few weeks should plan to get there earlier than usual.

Late at night and early in the morning of May 12, 14 and 16, a total of 28 airlines — about a third of the 70 that service the airport — will switch locations as Delta Air Lines prepares to invest $1.9 billion in airport renovations.

Of the 28 affected airlines, 21 will switch terminals for check-in, gates, or both as part of the move. Each airline will begin their move after finishing daily service, and restart in their new location the following morning.

Delta will move from Terminals 5 and 6 to 2 and 3. In the middle of the move, the airline will be operating across four different terminals. The relocation comes in preparation for Delta’s seven-year plan to modernize and connect Terminals 2 and 3 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Related: Delta Air Lines is bringing back free food

Passengers should be sure to double check their flight’s terminal and gate information during the move and the following weeks. Passengers can also call their airline for up-to-date information on their operating terminal. While airport staff will install new signage over the coming weeks to direct passengers, finding a departure gate could be confusing during the move.

The airlines impacted by the change May 12-17.
Los Angeles World Airports

“It all comes down to our guests being informed and taking the necessary actions to make sure they are in the right place at the right time to catch their flights,” LAWA CEO Deborah Flint said in a statement. “During the relocation and in the weeks following, passengers are advised to check-in online, print or download boarding passes, and check terminal and gate information before coming to LAX.”

While officials have not specified how much earlier passengers should arrive, leaving plenty of time to transfer between terminals (let's call that an hour at LAX?) would be smart.

“They should also arrive to the airport earlier than normal,” said Flint. “Once at LAX, passengers should check flight and gate status on flight information display boards in each terminal to ensure they are in the correct location.”

Some flights will have check-in in one terminal with departure from another. To get between terminals, passengers can use their airline’s own shuttle bus (if provided) or board a free LAX bus.