Thanksgiving Travel Kicks Off This Weekend

Nov. 16, 2021 - Thanksgiving holiday travel begins this weekend, and passengers can expect a busy terminal. AAA predicts 4.2 million air travelers nationally compared to 2.3 million in 2020.

Customers should plan for long lines at TSA checkpoints, ticket counters and restaurants. For the approximate 31,000 passengers beginning their trip at CLT, Wednesday, Nov. 24 will be the busiest day next week. After Thanksgiving, the busiest days will be Saturday, Nov. 27, Sunday, Nov. 28 and Monday, Nov. 29 with 30,000 to 35,000 daily customers starting their return flight home from Charlotte Douglas.

As American Airlines' second-largest hub, CLT also averages 50,000 passengers traveling through CLT daily. Charlotte Douglas continues to be on the road to recovery. Currently, the Airport is at 84% of 2019 pre-pandemic passenger numbers.

Due to the high traffic during the holidays, travelers should arrive at the Airport at least two hours before their departure time. Security wait times are listed on CLT’s website ( and app. The Airport will have extra staff in the ticket lobby and on the curbside to assist passengers

All parking products are available on a first-come, first-served basis. CLT has over 21,000 parking spaces. For the best rates, use the CLT Airport app or visit to book parking online. Same-day booking is limited for all products and must be made a minimum of 12 hours in advance. Be sure to check parking availability on the CLT real-time parking map or call 704.359.5555 to hear the latest parking conditions. Drivers are encouraged to use the Hourly Deck for picking up and dropping off passengers. It is steps from the terminal, helps alleviate traffic on the curbside and the first hour is free.

Construction continues on the Terminal Lobby Expansion. Please follow the posted signage. Construction in recent months has moved to the east side (near Checkpoint E) resulting in the closing of Door 3 on the Ticketing level and in Baggage Claim. The center door and Doors 1 and 5 on the Ticketing Level are open as well are the center door and Door 1 in Baggage Claim. The expansion project is the largest in Airport’s history and will add 366,000 square feet of new and renovated lobby space to the terminal by 2025.

Stay connected with the Airport. Follow @CLTairport on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Get the latest Airport news at or sign-up to receive CLT's electronic newsletters at Also, download the free, all-in-one CLT Airport app at the App Store or on Google Play