Prepare For Confusion: LAX to Renumber Terminals & Gates in Major Overhaul

Los Angeles International Airport is planning to change the numbers of its terminals and also rename its gates. Terminal 3 will be a different terminal than the current terminal 3. They’re going to call the planned future terminal 9… terminal 8. The airport isn’t confusing enough for most passengers!

  • LAX is going to combine terminal 1 and concourse 0 – the Southwest Airlines extension of their current terminal – and call them both terminal 1.

  • They will combine terminals 2 and 3 and call them both terminal 2.

  • The Tom Bradley International Terminal will become terminal 3, and no longer terminal B (for Bradley)

  • Terminals 7 and 8 will be combined and called terminal 7.

  • They’re also planning to build a future terminal 9 that they will call.. terminal 8.

LAX Concourse 0, err Terminal 1

Meanwhile, gates are going to be renumbered using a consistent alphanumeric system that starts over at each concourse (“e.g. T1 – A1 & B1, T2 – C1 & D1, etc.”).

It seems like an odd decision to give the new terminal train stations letters that do not correspond to the concourses they are lettering. You won’t take station B to get to concourse B.

(HT: Enilria)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It’s “Terminal 1”, “Terminal 2”, “Tom Bradley Terminal 3”, “Terminal 4.”

    That will be the new benchmark for if you are “from” LA – do you say “Tom Bradley” in front of your “Terminal 3”?

  2. Bureaucratic fools always have too much time on their hands , and devise “new ideas” . Then, they have a “meeting” and announce their decision , without allowing for suggestions .

    Sort of like Brandon and his handlers .

  3. LAX is such a mess… Flew in & out last week. Took 90 minutes to get to Rent a car with just a carry-on..
    Please, can John Wayne get more flights? Please?

  4. My home airport… 50+ years now. Someone in LAWA management must have a sign-maker contract that they promised. LOL!

    What a cluster….

  5. Seems to make sense if leaving some confusion in the short term.

    Imagine traversing the airport as a foreigner who doesn’t speak English well. This system is helpful.

  6. I mean, there is a certain straightforward logic to this, and people will get over the pain. Each terminal is associated with a single airline (plus some smaller ones), plus an international airlines terminal. Trying to make sense of “Terminal B” when everything else is numbered is confusing, too. As is Delta being in Terminals 2 *and* 3, and United being in 7 *and* 8. So now, 1=Southwest, 2=Delta, 3=int’l, 4=American, 5=JetBlue, 6=Alaska, 7=United. You can even start referring to the terminals by actual airline. I’m cool with it. The existing layout doesn’t make easy sense any more; why keep it that way forever?

  7. California, always solving the big problems. What are the benefits of this change? The other numbering changes are relatively harmless if not useless, but I find it confusing to name the international terminal as just another number. Similar to how Tokyo haneda terminal changed to terminals 1-3, and now I never remember which terminal I’m supposed to go to, whereas before I know to go to international terminal.

  8. Just take a shuttle or a cab or an Uber to it and let the driver figure it out from which airline you want to go to. In three days I will go there to Tom Bradley Terminal. I will be taking a Fly Away shuttle bus in a week. Rental cars are going to be tricky until the people mover is in place. I have never found it difficult getting to the right place but parking is sometimes tricky.

  9. What Ivan said. Plus to Gary’s last complaint, you couldn’t line up the train stops with the concourses. They should have made the train stops names instead. e.g., “Bradley,” “Encounter,” and “Mines Field” for A-C, and self descriptive names for the others, like “Car Rental,” “Ride Share,” etc.

    So I think overall an improvement, though it’s really lipstick on a pig until they fix the traffic flow in and out. I’m hopeful the People Mover will help, but they also need to fix people parked in front of the terminals, waiting to pick up someone. Don’t charge $9 for parking, don’t allow overnight parking in the terminal lots, and maybe people would use the lots more instead of endlessly circling, clogging up traffic.

  10. sort off topic but i read this same thing first on enrilia and was going to comment….

    am i nuts or does that guy require that you PAY for a sub in order to reply to his blog?

    thank you gary for allowing us to reply here for free and please don’t adopt that model

  11. Heh. This is SOOOOO LAX…

    the place where they’ve completed TWO “Metro Lines to the Airport” that don’t actually GO to the airport.

    the place where the schedule delays in the APM are coming faster than the calendar pages can turn

    the place where (In a world where every European city has mass transit to the airport), the “best” transit to LAX is a BUS.

    the place where end of the new West Gates is a full two miles’ walk from the only reliable stop for the Flyaway. No moving walkway, no tram, no train.

  12. Hallelujah! It’s about farm time. LAX had the worst wayfinding of any large airport.

    Example, you’d be looking for gate 73, but the sign would have an arrow pointing left for gates 45-60, but the sign would omit all other gates making you wonder if you should walk back or continue straight.

  13. @George

    I mean, you DID notice that the APM is now a “late 2025” completion– with a strong possibility to slip into 2026 due to contract feuds over matters that should have been resolved 5 years ago.

  14. @Martin

    Er, you must not use LAX much, but on the Airside? Getting from “73” to “45” entails a weird Alice-in-Wonderlandy trek of elevated, in-concourse and subterranean (and those iron fire doors down in the pits-of-hell underground tunnels are scary) tunnel treks.

    There’s no “Escape Room” in the country that’s got anything on what a crapshow LAX is on the T4-T-8+Siberia (the remote AA terminal) side of the field. Renumbering the gates and terminals on this disaster is roughly like the pre-dinner re-arrangement of the deck chairs on a certain luxury liner in the North Atlantic. And interesting exercise but it doesnt’ resolve the deeply screwed up nature of the situation.

  15. If they are giving the gates letters why not give the terminals letters? Leaving from gate G3, then go to terminal G, not terminal 4. How does anyone know terminal 4 gates are the G gates now?

  16. Delta and its partner Los Angeles World Airports refreshed T3 at LAX to provide an even more elevated, premium experience to its discerning guests.

  17. I seem to be in the minority here, but every part of this seems to make sense. LAX is my home airport and I’ve flown out of here hundreds of times. The new numbering system brings some order to the madness. Sure it might cause a bit of confusion for those who are used to the current poorly-organized mess, but they’ll get used to it quickly. Having terminals and gates in numerical/alphabetical order counterclockwise makes sense. With the train going down the middle, there’s no way to match up the letters, but it should be pretty simple regardless.

  18. Not too bad except the current T3 might get a lot of TBIT passengers showing up.

    The train stations should be something different, maybe station R20, R21, R22?

  19. The whole LAX should be one single terminal!! It’s just one gigantic horseshoe-shaped building!

  20. They had to do something, since Terminal 0 was never going to be a thing and T2/3 was needed combining. They also needed to keep Mayor Bradley’s name on the Terminal, and airport, he championed. I understand giving it a number to help avoid confusion. Combining 7 and 8 made sense, since they function as a single Terminal and since T9 is going to basically be the default non-United *A Terminal.

    All in all, this solution makes the most sense at what was becoming increasingly unwieldy.

    Further, AA is going to lose their remote gates with T9 being built, but is gaining more of T5.

  21. It’s a mess at first, but honestly, it makes sense, especially given where the airlines are. Southwest will have all Terminal 1, Delta all with Terminal 2, United with Terminal 7, and TBIT will now fit in the numbering. Right now, even if they’re next to each other, people still get confused about Delta being in T2 and T3 (you’d think it would be simple, but I guess not).

    It would make more sense to use letters (A for T1, B for T2, and so on). But at least it’s not like ORD or JFK with missing terminals.

  22. @Ivan X

    What you said doesn’t hold true for American. JetBlue is cutting back service in LA and may move out of Terminal 5 along with Spirit. American will have most – if not all – of Terminal 5. Makes no sense why they wouldn’t have combined Terminals 4 and 5.

  23. The alphabet has 26 letters , s each terminal and sub-terminal can have a different letter , chosen at random . Terminal G will be first , and terminal S will be second . The employees will be recent arrivals from Venezuela , and they will repeat “Venezuela Venezuela” when anyone asks a question .

  24. While the solution to name the terminals letters is a good one, the issue would be that Bradley would be Terminal C, while T2-3 would be Terminal B. That would be more difficult than the proposed change.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you see the APM stations changed to 1-2-3 from letters, and the Terminal B name being de-emphasized. Then in 10 years, you can change the terminal names to A, B, C … .

    I do like how the terminal numbering now matches where you enter for security. T2-3 and T7-8 each had one screening entrance, so this simplifies it.

    Plus, I’ll be glad to see LAX move away from naming gates x3A, x3B, … as a way around having two numerical digit gates.

  25. Gotta love how deranged some of the VFTW readers can be. Someone even found a way to work Venezuela into something as benign as a gate renumbering.

    In addition to renaming the terminals at LAX, maybe it’s time to rename the blog to View From The Right Wing while we’re at it. It would certainly make the commentary even more over the top.

  26. I think it is a great change. As far as Terminals 4 & 5, they are physically different terminals, unlike Delta Terminals 2 & 3 which were combined into a single terminal with two different wings.

  27. “Take the tram to Station C for the B gates, or was that Station B for the C gates”……

    It didn’t need to have even introduced this possibility.

  28. Much ado about nothing. They did something similar at SFO some years back. After a “getting used to it” period, it actually makes more sense now. Same will happen at LAX. The world is not ending.


  29. I was at LAX last night to pickup guests at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
    Inside LAX, the slow moving bumper to bumper traffic was the worst ever.

    Beware: the new maximum daily rate for terminal parking is now a whopping $60.00/day!

  30. @OnePatriot77, it is also $9 for the first hour and $7 for each hour after that. If you are planning on meeting someone in the terminal, such as an international flight to Tom Bradley, you could reasonably expect to pay $9 + $7 + $7 = $23 for an hour and a half up to two hours. Also expect the automated pay gate to exit to be not working correctly like the last two times I have been there and possibly have to pay more because you are stuck in line. I’m going to try offsite parking at a place that has a shuttle that circulates often.

  31. It’s so simple
    No surprise Americans find it complex. They can’t even understand the 24hr clock

  32. Y’all just want something to complain about. Terminal 8 should never have been T8 as it doesn’t have its own entrance (the entrance is at T7) T2/3 are already basically one terminal. The only confusion will be B being renamed 3. But honestly that’s only going to confuse frequent flyers, flying internationally, were the only ones who had terminal 1-7 & B so silly. This is a change for the better. IMO (source: I worked there for 14+ years)

  33. Singapore Airport is equally maddeningly labeled, with several T’s (T1-T4) and then Gates A-F. And yes its confusing.

  34. Male announcer: The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the red zone.
    Female announcer: The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the red zone.
    Male announcer: [later] The red zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the white zone.
    Female announcer: No, the white zone is for loading of passengers and there is no stopping in a RED zone.
    Male announcer: The red zone has always been for loading and unloading of passengers. There’s never stopping in a white zone.
    Female announcer: Don’t you tell me which zone is for loading, and which zone is for stopping!
    Male announcer: Listen, Betty, don’t start up with your white zone shit again.
    Male announcer: There’s just no stopping in a white zone.
    Female announcer: Oh, really, Vernon? Why pretend, we both know perfectly well what this is about. You want me to have an abortion.
    Male announcer: It’s really the only sensible thing to do if it’s done properly. Therapeutically there’s no danger involved.

  35. Wait until the roadway “improvements” are built, especially those to the new terminal 8 and those intended to separate airport from local traffic. This will resemble the so-called “spaghetti junctions” in other cities.

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