December 18, 2018 - Christmas holiday travel begins this week 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 5.2 percent increase from last year in the number of people who will fly Thursday, December 20 – Sunday, January 6.
TSA's forecast throughout this week shows originating passengers numbers (travelers who begin and end their trip at CLT) will peak on Friday, December 21 with more than 31,000 holiday travelers beginning their trip at Charlotte Douglas. The Airport normally averages 23,000 – 24,000 daily local passengers in December.
These numbers are in addition to the approximately 100,000 passengers who connect through CLT each day.
|TSA's Originating Passenger Forecast |
|Date||2018 Local Passenger Forecast|
|Tuesday, December 18, 2018||22,110|
|Wednesday, December 19, 2018||28,120|
|Thursday, December 20, 2018||29,410|
|Friday, December 21, 2018||31,100|
|Saturday, December 22, 2018||26,880|
|Sunday, December 23, 2018||27,220|
|Monday, December 24, 2018||17,570|
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 for the next two weeks will be Thursday, December 21 – Sunday, December 23 as passengers depart for their holiday destination and Wednesday, December 26- Thursday, December 27 upon their return trip home.
Parking in High Demand
Parking will be in high demand Thursday, December 20 - Wednesday, January 2 and available on a first come, first served basis. Long Term parking typically reaches capacity first. Be sure to visit parking.charlotteairport.com to view CLT's real-time parking map or call 704.359.5555 to hear the latest parking conditions.
For just $14 a day, the Business Valet Deck provides designated shuttles to and from the terminal's upper level curbside. It's a great choice for families and passengers flying solo. Valet attendants park vehicles and provide complimentary luggage assistance. Various auto services are offered for additional expenses.
Drivers are encouraged to use the Hourly Deck for picking up and dropping off passengers. It's steps from the terminal, helps alleviate traffic on the curbside and the first hour is free. It includes 9 electrical vehicle charging stations for 18 vehicles. Those are located on levels 4, 5 and 6.
Using the Cell Phone Lot
CLT visitors can take advantage of the free Cell Phone Lot adjacent to Long Term Lot 1. Drivers may enter the lot off Josh Birmingham Parkway. The 150-space lot has one center aisle, making it easy to enter and exit. The location allows drivers direct access to the terminal via Josh Birmingham Parkway. Airport staff will be on hand for additional assistance during the holidays.
Inside the Airport, terminal renovations are underway on Concourses A and B. During renovations, Airport operations will not be interrupted. Passengers, however, will see open ceilings and bare concrete flooring in some areas.
CLT Passenger Amenities
CLT offers free WiFi throughout the terminal. Select the network "CLT Free WiFi" to get connected. For mothers flying with infants, the Mother's Room provides a dedicated area for mothers who wish for more privacy to nurse their baby. It is located on the upper level of the Atrium and Concourse A Expansion.
Several new concessions have also recently opened. The Body Shop, InMotion, Jamba Juice and Panera Bread are now greeting customers on Concourse A Expansion. The Airport has more than 100 concessions located throughout the terminal.
Passengers may plan their trip to the Airport by:
• 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.
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.
• 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.