May 28, 2020
Summer travel usually kicks off Memorial Day weekend and soars from there. This year, passengers need to plan for a not-so-typical summer travel season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport has actively implemented various safety measures in the last three months regarding COVID-19, including establishing an internal Experience Recovery Team to review every aspect of our operation.
Just as the pandemic remains an ever-changing situation, our safety efforts are ongoing and evolving as needs require. We are calling upon on tenants, partners and our passengers to help us ensure a positive, healthy travel experience and to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
The Aviation Department is working through the challenges of social distancing in the airport. We continue to strongly encourage our partners and concessionaires to follow CDC guidance limiting the spread of the virus. The FAA is currently reviewing how to social distance in airports. However, airports are different than restaurants or other private facilities that can limit the number of people allowed inside. CLT is unable to limit the number of people who use our facilities
The Aviation Department has required its employees to wear a face covering at work. Many of our partners – from the airlines to the concessionaires – are recommending or requiring their employees do the same. According to the CDC, everyone wearing a face covering greatly reduces the risk of spreading the coronavirus, especially when social distancing is difficult.
We must rely on our customers and partners to do their part:
- Maintain social distancing wherever possible.
- Wear a face covering while in the airport, and, especially when social distancing is not always possible.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water
- Don’t touch your face.
- Use hand sanitizer when handwashing is not possible. More than 30 hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the terminal. TSA is currently allowing one liquid hand sanitizer up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags. It will have to be screened separately so add some time to the checkpoint experience.
Lastly, it is essential that if you are flying, arrive early. Checkpoint wait times and open checkpoints will vary due to the challenges of social distancing in an airport.
Expect lines. Please plan to arrive early. That means arrive at least 2 hours before domestic travel and 3 hours before flights with an international itinerary. These recommendations were in place before the pandemic and are important now as well.
CLT and its partners will continue to adapt our operations in the days and weeks ahead. We recognize the travel experience will be different. It will be for those of us who are serving the passengers too. Already, messages to follow CDC guidelines and social distance are displayed throughout the terminal and on our public address system. Other safety enhancements aimed at our customers include screens at ticket counters, boarding counters and other locations such as our customer service counters and parking toll plaza cashier areas have been or are in the process of being installed. Also, housekeeping and Airport staff vigilantly continue to clean the terminal regularly each day and conduct nightly deep cleanings at the terminal and our busses.