Delta Air Lines on Wednesday opened nine new gates at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), just one element of an ambitious $2.3 billion expansion at the second-largest facility in the U.S. and one of the world’s largest airports.
All nine gates are located at Terminal 3.
When completed next year, Delta will combine Terminal 3 with Terminal 2 and roll out 27 new gates for its customers as the airline looks to keep its advantage at LAX. Delta had announced more than four years ago a renovation of its terminals at LAX, in part to stave off growing competition at the airport.
“We weren’t able to grow before. We were constrained in a smaller terminal,” Delta’s head of sales Scott Santoro told Business Insider. “Now we have the room and the space to grow.”
Improving gates and lounges is a critical element for airlines in attracting new customers – and keeping their current ones. Carriers are trying to one-up each other in making the customer experience a priority as part of the competition among the airlines, especially at a facility as large as LAX where numerous passenger choices abound from almost every airline both domestic and international.
Business Insider pointed out that through the first eight months of the year, Delta had attracted just over 1 million more passengers than its biggest rival, American Airlines, in passenger traffic at LAX. Right now, Delta has a nearly 20 percent market share at the Southern California airport.
“We want to win badly. Delta likes to win. Our people like to win,” Santoro said. “Combined I think it’s just a great formula to win here in Los Angeles.”
Next up as Delta continues with the new gates will be the Delta One check-in area for first-class passengers traveling on international flights. That will be ready by the spring of 2023 and the accompanying 10,000-square-foot Delta One Club lounge will be completed in 2024.
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