December 19, 2017 - Christmas holiday travel is underway at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Airlines report flights will be near capacity. Passengers are encouraged to plan ahead, be prepared and arrive early.
Airlines for America projects nationwide a 3.5 percent increase from last year in the number of people who will fly Friday, December 15 – Thursday, January 4.
TSA's forecast throughout this week shows originating passengers numbers (travelers who begin and end their trip at CLT) will peak on Friday, December 22 with more than 30,000 holiday travelers beginning their trip at Charlotte Douglas.
These numbers are in addition to the approximately 100,000 passengers who connect through CLT daily.
Christmas is the second busiest time of the year for Charlotte Douglas, preceded by Thanksgiving. The two holidays differ, however, because Christmas passenger traffic is distributed over a longer period of time. Peak travel days will be Thursday, December 21 – Friday, December 22 as passengers depart for their holiday destination and Tuesday, December 26 - Wednesday, December 27 upon their return trip home.
Follow CLT's Twitter feed (@CLTAirport) for the most up-to-date parking tips, and visit our travel tips page for a complete list of holiday parking and travel tips. For the latest Airport news, link tocltairport.com/news.
Changes This Year
• CLT's free Cell Phone Lot has relocated adjacent to Long Term Lot 1. Drivers may enter the lot directly off Josh Birmingham Parkway. The 150-space lot has one center aisle for easy entry and exit. View the video for more information. CLT has also closed Rental Car Road to the public. Access will be given only to authorized vehicles. Anyone headed to the terminal must use Josh Birmingham Parkway.
• Inside, terminal renovations are underway on Concourses A, B and C as part of Destination CLT, the Airport's $2.5 billion capital improvement program. During renovations, Airport operations will not be interrupted. Passengers, however, will see open ceilings and bare concrete flooring in some areas.
Checkpoints and Ticket Counters Opening Early
• Security checkpoints will start opening at 4 a.m. Ticket counters will begin opening at 4:15 a.m. Passengers, as a reminder, should check with their airlines for any weather related questions.
Parking Remains in High Demand
• Parking will be in high demand Wednesday, December 20 – Tuesday, January 2. Drivers are encouraged to use the Hourly Deck for picking up and dropping off passengers. It is free for the first hour and within walking distance to the terminal. Overhead dynamic signage and digital signage will prompt customers to use the Hourly Deck for quick drop off/pickup.
• Curbside is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers; curbside parking is not allowed, regardless of whether the vehicle is attended or not. Please remember vehicles left unattended may be towed, while vehicles parked and waiting may be subject to citations. This includes all lanes on the Departures/Ticketing and Arrivals/Baggage Claim levels.
Take Advantage of CLT's Amenities
• Passengers are encouraged to take advantage of CLT's various amenities. The Airport has more than 100 concessions spread throughout its five concourses. Indoor Animal Relief Areas are located on the A/B Connector and Concourse D. CLT also offers free WiFi. Select the network "CLT Free WiFi" to be connected. For traveling moms, a Mother's Room is located on the upper level of the Atrium and provides a dedicated area for mothers who wish for more privacy to nurse their baby or pump breast milk away from the intrusion of the public.
To accommodate holiday travel demands, CLT is:
• Using overhead dynamic signage and digital signage to prompt customers to use the Hourly Deck for quick drop off/pickup.
• Stationing traffic officers in front of the terminal and along other roadway locations as needed to assist with traffic flow, as well as positioning additional Aviation Department, TSA and airline staff in the lobby to assist customers.
• Adding more resources to Airport shuttle bus and parking operations.
Passengers may plan their trip to the Airport by:
• Arriving to the Airport early.
• Visiting parking.charlotteairport.com and viewing CLT's real-time parking map.
• Calling 704.359.5555 to hear the latest parking conditions.
• Slowing down and adhering to the signs when approaching the terminal.
• Paying attention to and following CLT's dynamic roadway signs strategically located around Charlotte Douglas for information on which lots are open or full.
• Using the Pay&Go stations when leaving the terminal for a quicker exit. Four Pay&Go stations are located in the Hourly Deck and at the Daily deck's shuttle bus stop. Remember to keep your ticket with you. Upon your return trip home, place your 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.
Travelers should also consider other travel options for arriving at the Airport, including:
• Catching a ride to the terminal
• Taking a taxi, ride share or other form of transportation
• Riding the CATS Sprinter bus (Route 5 – Airport) or Airport Connector at Archdale and Northlake Park and Ride lots
Holiday Travel Tips:
• View TSA's travel tips at tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips.
• For up-to-date parking conditions and prices, call 704.359.5555 or visit parking.charlotteairport.com.
• Get dropped off at the Airport, carpool, ride CATS, or use one of the many taxi and ground transportation companies serving the Airport.
• Visitors picking up family or friends are encouraged to park in the Hourly Deck. It's within walking distance to the terminal and the first hour is free.
• Another option is to park in the free Cell Phone Lot adjacent to Long Term Lot 1. Just wait in your vehicle and ask your passenger to contact you when they claim their luggage, then drive to either level of the terminal to pick them up.
• Passengers can be picked up and dropped off along the terminal's curbside; however, vehicles cannot be left unattended. Curbside parking is not allowed and unattended vehicles may be towed. This includes all lanes on the ticketing and baggage claim levels.
• Check with your airline for updated flight information, as well as baggage size and weight rules. Additional fees could be applicable.
Departing Passenger Tips:
• Passengers are advised to arrive early for their flights. When traveling with young children, infants, elderly or disabled passengers, allow for even more time. TSA advises arriving at least two hours before your flight.
• Checkpoint lines may be adjusted to accommodate the anticipated crowds. Pay close attention to signage directing you to the proper lines.
• Save time by printing boarding passes at home.
• Obtain specific information about Charlotte Douglas International Airport by visiting cltairport.com or by calling the Airport's automated phone information line at 704.359.4910.
• Contact your airline for updated flight information.
As a reminder, follow CLT's Twitter feed (@CLTAirport) for the most up-to-date parking tips, and visit parking.charlotteairport.com for a complete list of holiday parking and travel tips. For the latest Airport news, link to cltairport.com/news.