Delta passengers flying out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) are in for a welcome treat just in time for the busy summer travel season. After five years of construction, Delta Air Lines on Wednesday debuted its state-of-the-art new terminal at LAX as part of the first phase of the $2.3 billion Delta Sky Way project at LAX. The result is a massive improvement both in design and the amenities now available to Delta fliers.
As of April 20, Delta customers can check in at the newly unveiled centralized lobby that is equipped with 32 self-service kiosks and 46 check-in positions, tripled from before. Two additional security lanes have been added for a total of 7 and by late summer 14 fully operational security lanes are expected in an effort to expedite the screening process. On the first floor, baggage claim has been expanded with six carousels (four previously) to make arrivals a smoother experience as well.
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), which owns and operates LAX, and Delta have partnered on the massive Delta Sky Way project, which is slated to be completed by 2023. At that time, Terminal 3, the new Delta terminal just unveiled, will be consolidated with Terminal 2 into a 1.2-million-square-foot space devoted to Delta with direct access via a short 15-minute walk to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Delta is L.A.’s largest global carrier and operates 140 flights daily out of LAX to 53 destinations worldwide.
AFAR got a sneak peek of the new Terminal 3 and the first thing we noticed was how much bigger and more modern the space is. Everything from the check-in to security area has doubled or tripled in size, which should minimize crowds and long lines, especially during peak hours. There is also double the restroom capacity in Terminal 3 and a sleek 250-foot digital backwall with wayfinding information in both English and Spanish.
In addition to the terminal overhaul, a new 30,000-square-foot Delta Sky Club, the largest in the Delta system, was also unveiled this week. The sprawling, contemporary lounge is more than double the size of the previous Delta Sky Club at LAX and can accommodate more than 500 fliers. The new Sky Club, located between Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, is accessible to select Delta and American Express credit card holders, Sky Club members, passengers flying Delta One, or Delta Diamond, Platinum, or Gold Medallion members.
A defining feature of the lounge is a year-round outdoor Sky Deck with a retractable roof and premium bar that faces the Hollywood Hills. “Being in L.A., we knew that [an outdoor bar] is what people want,” said Claude Roussel, managing director of Delta Sky Club—the alfresco bar service is a first for a Delta lounge. Other Sky Club amenities include self-service kiosks for quicker check-in, eight spacious showers, soundproof booths for phone calls, and two buffet stands serving a rotating selection of seasonal breakfast, lunch, dinner, and grab-and-go snacks of soups, sandwiches, salads, and complimentary beverages (premium drinks are additional). The Sky Club will be open between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. starting April 22 with extended hours after Memorial Day Weekend.
Unique design elements are inspired by the local surroundings such as the natural wood finishes and the ripple effect on the ceiling, representing the outdoors and nearby beaches. The Coffee Grotto seating area features mosaic tiles from Italy to create the celebrated banana leaf motif that pays homage to Old Hollywood. Also on display is colorful artwork from local artists, including Todd Gray, T.S. Harris, Cheryl Maeder, and Betsy Enzensberger.
The new Delta Sky Club at LAX is a huge upgrade from the previous Delta lounge at LAX and it’s a great way to begin a long journey. Travel can be stressful these days, but this luxurious space with thoughtful amenities will allow travelers to relax and recharge. Our favorite feature, and the main attraction here, is the Sky Deck. Order the Oaxacan Apple, one of the signature cocktails made with mezcal, tequila, jalapeño, and apple puree to sip while watching planes fly by.
LAX is one of several key U.S. hubs that Delta is investing in, including New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Nashville, and Minneapolis, which are slated for upgrades later this year. At LAX, Delta also has an exclusive partnership with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to expand facial recognition technology for check-in and security. Launching toward the end of this year, this service will allow qualifying passengers traveling domestically who opt-in to check bags, pass through security, and board their flight hands-free.