Expect a crowd when you fly with CLT this holiday season
larges crowds of passengers passing though the atrium with luggage and wearing face masks

Nov 24, 2020 - The advice is coming at us from all directions.

Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay 6 feet away from people.

No big gatherings for Thanksgiving. Stay home.

What’s a person to do?

Charlotte Douglas International Airport and all its partners have worked tirelessly for the last eight months to create a safe and healthy Airport and to give passengers the confidence to fly. You can read about everything that has been done on the Keep it Rockin’ website. Your airline has also published a lot of great information on its web sites as well.

Ultimately, it is up to you, the customer, to decide if you are comfortable to fly. If you are, there are things we want you to plan for.

CLT is busy

CLT is so busy that people are often caught off guard by the crowds. They expect empty boarding gates and concourses. Amid the pandemic, CLT is averaging more than 1,000 daily arrivals and departures and 2.4 million passengers a month. Daily we see crowds at the checkpoints, in the Atrium and at the boarding gates.

Please remember you will not be coming to an empty Airport. Whether starting travels here or connecting to a flight bound for another destination, passengers should be prepared with plans aimed at your safety.

CLT airlines have consolidated their operations to be more efficient over the last eight months. Yet, each day more than 1,000 flights arrive and depart from CLT. Those flights serve 21,053 originating passengers daily. Another 116,396 people arrive at CLT to connect to another flight. That’s a lot of hustle and bustle, especially as flights arrive and depart in clusters.

CLT is fortunate to have its strong partnership with American Airlines. As CLT largest airline and American’s second largest hub, CLT has weathered the downtown in travel caused by the pandemic better than some airports. That means we can be here to serve the flying public.

Take personal responsibility

We strongly encourage people to do the right thing and adhere to the CDC directives and public health department guidance.

On Nov. 23, the North Carolina governor revised its Executive Order regarding masks. Anyone age 5 and up at Charlotte Douglas International Airport must wear a face mask, with limited medical exceptions.

In addition, the new Order allows law enforcement to enforce face covering mandates against anyone who refuses to wear one. Since June, face coverings have been required at CLT throughout all parts of the passenger journey - from the parking lots and shuttle bus rides to the check in at the terminal and boarding aircraft.  All airlines at CLT require passengers to wear face coverings to board a flight.

The Airport continues to educate our customers, tenants and employees regarding Governor Copper’s face covering mandate to help stop the spread of COVID-19, while meeting our mission to assist our customers in their travels.  Executive Order 180 allows law enforcement the ability to issue citations, giving CMPD an additional tool to use.  These citations could carry a fine up to $1,000. We remain focused on creating an environment of education and safety.  Messaging is on CLT’s public address system that airs throughout the terminal reminding passengers that face coverings are required.  We also have messaging and signage regarding the face covering mandate on roadways entering the airport, our entrance doors and on the terminal’s visual screens. 

We routinely remind people of safety guidance. Signage is located throughout the terminal and messages routinely play over the public address system. We also offer a free mask to anyone in need at the Visitor Info Center in Baggage Claim as at each security checkpoint podiums. And, we have 60+ hand sanitizing units located throughout the Airport.

Some airlines are blocking seats in their gate areas. The Aviation Department has not required it so that families and others who have quarantined together can sit together. Blocked seating would further complicate the challenges of a crowded airport. We have adjusted Atrium seating and lines to dining to encourage social distancing. And, our Keep It Rockin’s signage serves as a reminder to keep 6 feet apart, wear a mask and wash hands frequently.

We rely on our customers to take the lead in protecting themselves and others. We’ve also offered our own tips on how to create distance in a crowded terminal.  We don’t have more space to offer, but we can offer space awareness.

Committed to safety for all

Cleaning is a daily priority.

ABM, our commercial janitorial service, has nearly 300 employees who work full-time seven days in shifts that range from 35 to nearly 75 people. Things you touch often - handrails, touch screens, seat arms etc. – get a lot of attention from the cleaning teams. The third shift focuses on deep cleaning and uses electrostatic spray with cleansing agents designed to combat COVID-19 to clean the terminal’s public areas.

Daily, the cleaning crews go through 128 microfiber cloths, 1,050 pairs of gloves, 192 Blue Huck super absorbent towels and gallons of cleaning solutions.

We want everyone to have a safe travel experience - during the upcoming holidays and any time you decide to fly. Know what to expect. Be prepared and take the lead in your own safety. Together, we can work together to keep everyone safe and happy and Keep it Rockin’ at CLT.