Delta’s ‘Sky Way’ at LAX, featuring new largest Sky Club, could open 18 months early

Nov 13, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

There are few silver linings to the coronavirus pandemic that has decimated air travel around the world. But one benefit travelers can look forward to are some spiffy new airport terminals opening sooner rather than later.

Delta Air Lines is making good on plans to accelerate airport projects around the U.S. Among those will be Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), where Delta will shave up to a year-and-a-half off the timeline for its new terminal complex there, the Atlanta-based carrier said Thursday.

The revamp of Terminals 2 and 3 — dubbed the “Delta Sky Way” — will open in mid-2023 following an updated agreement with the operator of LAX. The drop in air travel during the coronavirus pandemic will allow the airline to fully close Terminal 3 for reconstruction instead of a previous phased construction plan.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

The final piece of steel for the new “Delta Sky Way” at Los Angeles airports was lowered into place on Thursday (Nov. 12). (Image courtesy of Delta Air Lines)


Once complete, the Sky Way will feature new and revamped facilities for Delta flyers. One premium amenity travelers can look forward to is what the carrier is billing as the “largest Delta Sky Club found anywhere” that will include a year-round outdoor sky deck. Other features include a new Delta One check-in experience, consolidated security checkpoint and a connector inside security between Terminals 2, 3 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

“If there’s a silver lining to fewer people flying right now, it’s that we have an opportunity and a team with the know-how to pull the future forward on infrastructure projects,” Mark Pearson, vice president of corporate real estate at Delta, said in a statement.

Plans to accelerate work at LAX have been in the works since the early days of the crisis. In May, Delta chief financial officer Paul Jacobson told investors that the airline planned to cut capital expenses by speeding up projects at the Los Angeles and Salt Lake City (SLC) airports, as well as maybe at New York LaGuardia (LGA), during the slowdown.

For example at LAX, Delta plans to fly a little less than 70% of what it flew a year ago in November, according to Cirium schedules. The airline aims to fly nearly 73% of its 2019 schedule in December.

Related: Delta speeds up LAX, Salt Lake City renovation projects during pandemic

Other possibilities: Is Delta working on a premium lounge product to compete with American and United?

(Image courtesy of Delta Air Lines)


The first phase of Salt Lake City’s terminal reconstruction, including a new terminal and two new concourses, opened in September. The airport hopes to shave as much as two years off work on the second phase, which includes demolishing the old facilities and extending the two concourses.

Delta executives are mum on how much the carrier could save from accelerating airport works. The initial price tag for the Sky Way at LAX was $1.86 billion.

Under the revised LAX timeline, Delta plans to complete the new terminal building — where travelers will check in, drop bags and proceed through security — in early 2022. The new Terminal 3 concourse is now expected to be ready in mid-2022, a revamped western terminal building by end-2022 and the renovated Terminal 2 concourse and connector by mid-2023.

Related: Salt Lake City airport, Delta to open new canyon-inspired terminal on Tuesday

The new Sky Way will have 27 gates for Delta’s flights from Los Angeles. International partners including Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic Airways and WestJet are also expected to operate from Terminal 2.

Delta moved to the facilities in 2017 after 30 years in Terminal 5 on the southern side of LAX’s terminal complex. Terminal 2 was the airport’s original international terminal and Terminal 3 the home of defunct Trans World Airlines (TWA) when the facilities opened in the early 1960s.

Related: Delta adds 5 new routes from LAX, Atlanta as rivals expand in the West

Featured image courtesy of Delta Air Lines.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.