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Traffic Alert: Delta Plans $1.9 Billion LAX Relocation

For travelers to, from, or through Los Angeles International Airport, it may seem as though the airport, the world’s seventh busiest, is in a semi-permanent state of modernization and remodeling, with all the construction, traffic, and delays that entails. A pretty picture it ain’t.

Any hopes for a reprieve from the disruptions were dashed with this week’s approval by the airport authority of a major redevelopment plan by Delta.

Over a seven-year period, Delta will relocate from its current site, in Terminals 5 and 6, across the airport grounds to Terminals 2 and 3.

Same airport, same number of terminals. So why the move? The new location improves Delta’s LAX operations in two ways. First, it co-locates Delta in the same terminals as its close marketing partners, Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia. (Non-partners will move to Delta’s old digs, in Terminals 5 and 6.) And second, after a new secure connector to the Tom Bradley international terminal is in place, Delta customers will be able to readily transfer to and from flights operated by some of its other partners, including Air France-KLM, Alitalia, China Eastern, and China Southern.

In addition to improved partner connectivity, there will be upgrades to the terminals themselves. According to Delta:

Once remodeled, the new space will provide all the amenities that Delta’s customers have come to expect at LAX, including a private Delta One check-in lounge, new Delta Sky Clubs, fast check-in for Delta Shuttle services, and an integrated in-line baggage system. The facility will offer convenient passenger flows, sufficient gate-area seating, and a world-class concession program in partnership with Westfield Corporation.

There’s no doubt the project, once completed, will be a plus for travelers flying on Delta and its partners. In the meantime, getting to and through the airport will be a pain in the LAX.

No pain, no gain.

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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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