With Huge LAX Terminal Move Looming, Delta Offers Pop-Up Spas and Comfort Dogs

Courtesy of PUP

With the biggest terminal move in LAX history beginning in the early hours of May 13, Delta and the airport authority will be hosting free pop-up spas for the chaotic week, as well as a fleet of comfort dogs.

With the biggest terminal move in LAX history slated to begin sometime after midnight Friday, Delta Air Lines and airport authority have decided to bring out the heavy guns to reassure worried air travelers: free massages, fresh-pressed juice and a fleet of friendly Rottweilers.  

As many people in the entertainment are ready to travel to New York and Europe — with TV Upfronts and the Cannes Film Festival looming — a whopping 16 airlines will be relocating over a six-day period beginning May 12, headlined by the migration of Delta from terminals 5 and 6 to terminals 2 and 3.

Well aware of the chaos and customer anxiety that could ensue, Delta and Los Angeles World Airports, the operator of LAX, have pulled out the stops to proactively eliminate potential hiccups at the airport. Many Delta fliers have gotten more than a half-dozen emails or phone calls to keep them informed of the big move, ride share companies like Uber and Lyft have been updated frequently, and tons of added personnel will be on hand at the airport to help travelers find the correct terminal or gate.

But still, aware of the stressful backdrop of flying out of LAX over the next week, Delta has decided to open a set of pop-up mini spas in terminals 2, 3 and 5. All of the services will be free. Among the highlights are 10-minute chair massages, 5-minute sessions in Headspace meditation pods, treatments with Kiehl’s hydrating mist and refreshing glasses of cucumber water. (For those who prefer a refreshing mug of beer, travelers can put their name on a list for a massage or meditation session, head to a bar and then return thanks to a text message alert.)

For those seeking even more refreshment, free "mini glasses" of smoothies from Pressed Juicery also will be there for the taking. Four of the company’s signature flavors will be on offer: greens, citrus, strawberry almond and orange turmeric. A selection of Kind bars and Biscoff cookies also will be available.

Still, if the comfort provided by a shoulder massage or a complimentary smoothie does not seem adequate, LAWA will have a platoon of comfort dogs wandering the impacted terminals. An extension of the Pets Unstressing Passengers program (PUP, get it?) 10 dogs wandering the post-security areas — they'll all be wearing red vests so stressed out fliers know who to pet. Heidi Huebner, coordinator of the PUP program, says that their pack includes Labrador retrievers, golden doodles, Staffordshire terriers and Rottweilers. Huebner says travelers will be encouraged to pet the dogs and even take selfies if they feel so inclined.

"We know that these little touches won't magically make everything easier and understand that passengers may still experience some inconvenience during a move of this scale," says a Delta spokesperson. "But we're trying to help alleviate some of that stress in a small way by providing customers a moment of relaxation. And everyone likes a free massage."

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