July Fourth Travel Numbers Near Pre-Pandemic Levels
Passengers Should Arrive Early for Check In and Security Screening

June 30, 2021 - This Fourth of July weekend, Charlotte Douglas International Airport is expecting passenger numbers close to pre-pandemic levels.

Due to national labor shortages, lots of patience will be needed over the holiday and throughout the summer. Passengers may experience longer than normal lines at security checkpoints and concessions. Some restaurants and retail stores also have reduced their operating hours, particularly before 6 a.m. and after 9 p.m. Adjusted times are available on CLT’s website and app. 

“We are recovering much quicker than other airports nationwide,” said Aviation Director Haley Gentry. “Of course it is great to see our passenger numbers growing, but throughout the country staffing challenges persist. We continue to work with our tenants and partners to address their employment needs in an effort to minimize impacts to the passenger experience.”

CLT’s largest crowds will arrive on Thursday, July 1, Friday, July 2 and Monday, July 5 with approximately 27,0000 – 28,000 daily local passengers (travelers who begin their trip at Charlotte Douglas). As the second largest hub for American Airlines, CLT also will serve more than 100,000 daily connecting passengers.

By comparison, Fourth of July 2019 CLT’s busiest days served 30,000 to 33,000 daily local passengers and more than 100,000 connecting passengers. It’s a big jump from approximately 10,000 local daily passengers and 60,000 connecting passengers during the July Fourth 2020 travel period.

CLT’s May activity report shows CLT is at 93 percent of 2019 pre-pandemic passenger numbers and averaged 728 daily departures last month compared to 762 in May 2019.

According to AAA forecasts, 3.5 million people are planning to fly this Independence Day weekend with air travel volumes reaching 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels, an increase 164 percent compared to last year.

Arrive Early

To prepare for a smoother travel experience, passengers should be in line at a CLT security checkpoint three hours before their departure time. Peak activity for Departures/ Ticketing and security checkpoints are 5:30– 10 a.m. and 3–6 p.m.

Rock Your Mask

Safety measures remain in place at Charlotte Douglas. Per a TSA mandate, all passengers, employees and CLT visitors are required to wear a face mask while at the Airport, even for those who have been fully vaccinated.

Face masks are available upon request at the Airport Visitor Info Center on the Baggage Claim level and at all TSA checkpoint podiums. All airlines serving CLT require passengers to wear a face mask to board a flight as well.

Book Parking Online

Parking will be in high demand. Passengers are encouraged to reserve parking online for the best parking rates, which will always be cheaper than the drive-up rate. Visit cltairport.com and select the “Book Parking” icon to complete the process or use CLT’s app. It’s free in the Apple Store or from Google Play. Same-day booking is limited for all products and must be made a minimum of six hours in advance.

Remember drive-up parking rates increase July 6 for all lots and decks except Curbside Valet. Click here for more details. Drivers can visit CLT’s real-time parking map or call 704.359.5555 to hear the latest parking conditions. All lots except for the Express Deck (formerly Business Valet) will be open.

Check Security Wait Times

Be sure to visit CLT’s website (cltairport.com) or app (download at the App Store or on Google Play) to see estimated real-time security wait times at each checkpoint, including Standard and TSA PreCheck® lines. Please note that wait times constantly change and passengers should refresh for updates.

CLT Safety Measures

Housekeeping and Airport staff diligently continue to clean daily and conduct nightly deep cleanings at the terminal and on buses. Visit the Airport’s COVID-19 Travel Update webpage for additional information regarding CLT’s safety measures.