Summer Travel Season Kicks Off this Weekend
CLT Expects Large Crowds

Large crowds are expected again this Memorial Day weekend as Charlotte Douglas International Airport kicks off the summer travel season.


Airlines are predicting high passenger loads. Originating passenger numbers are projected to peak on Friday, May 27.​​​



The Airport has made some operational changes to prepare:


  • ​Improvements were made to parking
    • ​New entry and exit locations for Long Term 1 have been completed.  
    • Long Term 4 has reopened with 3,550 spaces. New lighting also has been installed and wiring is being completed.
    • A new cell phone lot, located just past Long Term 1, is now open. The new lot has more than 100 parking spaces and will be CLT’s primary cell lot when future entrance roadway construction and Concourse A expansion removes Cell Phone Lots 1 & 2.

​The Airport and airlines began a new checkpoint assistance program on May 16:


  • ​​Checkpoint assistance agents are located at the entrance of every checkpoint to help passengers prepare for the screening process.
  • Agents will be checking boarding passes at the beginning of the checkpoint lines, checking carry-on bags to ensure they meet what airlines will allow on board the aircraft, balancing checkpoint lines when needed and providing assistance with lobby way finding as needed. 

Travel Tips:


  • ​​TSA recommends passengers arrive at the Airport at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights. 
  • Peak travel days at the Airport are traditionally Monday mornings, all day Thursday and Sunday evenings.
  • Parking will be in high demand. Economy parking will be the first to fill, followed by Daily. It’s important to check out CLT’s real time parking map at for up to the minute parking information.   
  • Drivers who are picking up and dropping off passengers are encouraged to use the Hourly Deck to ease congestion on the curbside. The first hour is free. 
  • Stay informed. Be sure to follow CLT Airport on Twitter (@CLTAirport) for the latest summer parking and travel tips. Also, visit for the latest news.

TSA has recently reassigned security checkpoints as follows:

  • ​​Checkpoint A – Standard passenger processing
  • Checkpoint B – TSA PreCheck & standard passenger processing
  • Checkpoint C – Standard passenger processing
  • Checkpoint D – TSA PreCheck & Preferred
  • Checkpoint E – Standard passenger processing and employees

Passengers are advised to: 

  • ​​Plan your drop off and pick up. 
  • Arrive early and follow airline and TSA guidelines when packing. Visit for tips.
  • Get dropped off at the Airport, carpool, ride CATS’ Airport Sprinter or Connector or use one of the many taxi and ground transportation companies serving the Airport. 
  • Take advantage of the Hourly Deck when getting dropped off or picked up. The first hour is free. 
  • Check parking conditions before leaving for Charlotte Douglas by viewing a real time parking map​ or calling 704.359.5555. 
  • Be alert, slow down, obey the speed limit and drive more cautiously while adjusting to CLT’s new entrance road. 
  • Follow the directions on the variable message signs that have been strategically placed along roadways to help drivers navigate the change. ​

To save time before leaving for CLT, follow the Airport’s SmartPark tips:

  • ​​​When you visit Charlotte Douglas International Airport, remember to Think It. Plan It. Park It. with SmartPark. 
  • Use one of CLT’s three FREE Cell Phone lots located on Rental Car and Old Dowd roads. 
  • Visit Business Valet where parking will always be available. 
  • Long Term Economy Parking is expected to go fast at CLT Airport this summer. Plan ahead with
  • Remember that only immediate loading and unloading are permitted on the curbside. Do not leave your vehicle unattended on Departures/Ticketing or Arrivals/Baggage Claim levels. If your vehicle is left unattended, it will be ticketed and towed.
  • Be sure to take a lot locator card from the SmartPark maps inside the parking lot bus shelters. This will help you locate your car upon return.
  • Take advantage of the Airport’s Pay&Go stations. Four Pay&Go stations are located in the Hourly Deck and at the Daily deck’s shuttle bus stop and two more are located near the shuttle bus stops in front of the Arrivals/Baggage Claim level. To use, travelers place their parking ticket in a Pay&Go station and pay by credit card. A validated ticket will be returned. Drivers may then proceed to any lane in the designated lots and insert their validated ticket in the machine to exit.
  • Use the credit card only or prepaid lanes to save time exiting the Airport’s parking lots. Credit card only lanes are available in all lots. To learn more about how SmartPark Express works, watch this video​.  
  • Visit for current parking rates or call CDIAL, the Airport’s automated phone information at 704.359.4910. To get up-to-date flight information, call 704.359.DATA (3282).


Be sure to follow CLT Airport on Twitter (@CLTAirport​) for the latest summer parking and travel tips.​