Your flight is delayed. You have a long layover thanks to bad weather. You arrived early so you could relax before boarding your flight.
No matter the reason you have time to burn, there’s plenty to do at Charlotte Douglas International Airport while you wait. Here are our top 10 things to make your wait fly by.
10. Put on your walking shoes
We have nearly four miles of indoor concourse and terminal space so it’s easy to get your 10,000 steps and then some. Best of all, it is climate controlled, so you can stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter while power walking your way around the airport. There’s no better way to see what else there is to do here.
9. Become an art lover
Art is all around the terminal. Sometimes it is hanging above your head so look up from your mobile phone every now and then. One of the most fascinating and mesmerizing pieces is “Interconnected,” three massive LED screens with ever-changing digital art. Data from airport operations - flight arrivals and departures, baggage movements and airport parking – is translated into millions of pixels to create the larger-than-life, always moving art displays on Concourse A. Head toward Gates A21-29. You can’t miss them. We promise you won’t regret it.
8. Check out the view
Aviation geeks can attest that CLT has some of the best views around. With 1,400 daily arrivals and departures there is plenty of activity on the ramp. Some of the best views are from the Atrium mezzanine overlooking the heart of the airport and airline operations. We’re fortunate to have one of the best views of Uptown too. Uptown is downtown for those of you not from here. The city skyline is best viewed from the end of Concourse D. If you are here at night, even better. The skyline lit up after dark is a spectacular sight.
7. Play me a song, piano man
Hang out in the Atrium to be entertained by great local musicians who can regularly be found behind the keys of the black Baby Grand piano. From classical to pop and everything in between, the volunteer pianists take requests too.
6. Escape from the travel bubble
Get a massage, manicure or pedicure, or all three at one of XpressSpa locations in the Airport. Haircuts, shave, shower facilities and much more are available. Is your idea of pampering a few minutes of peace and quiet? Minute Suites gives passengers a space away from the hustle and bustle of the terminal to relax, work or take a nap. Suites are oh, so Charlotte themed too - First in Flight, Carolina, Panther, Queen City, Uptown and Speedway suites all feature complimentary DirecTV, Netflix and Wi-Fi.
5. Eat, shop, and shop some more
From high end clothing and jewelry to gifts with a kitschy or regional flare, there more than 51 places to either window shop or spend your cash inside CLT. When you get tired of shopping (is that even possible?), grab a quick bite to eat at one of the many grab-and-go places or get a table at a sit-down style restaurant to enjoy a taste of Charlotte cuisine or a locally made craft beer. There are loads of places to satisfy whatever you have a taste for – close to 70, in fact.
4. Say cheese!
Let your friends and family know you were at CLT. Take a selfie. There isn’t a bad view from anywhere in the airport, but our fun backdrops are uniquely Charlotte. Look for the CLT letters outside Checkpoint E before you go through security. After you clear TSA screening, the colorful Charlotte postcard backdrop is located at the back of 1897 Market near the entry to Concourse B. Want a selfie fit for a queen? Then head over to the Queen Charlotte mural on Concourse A Extension and snap away. When you post it on your social media, tag us #CLTselfie.
3. You love dogs? We do too!
Be on the lookout for the CLT Canine Crew. With their human handlers this group of furry volunteers roams the Airport regularly just waiting for you to come say hello, scratch their ears or indulge them with a good belly rub. Hugs are welcome too. Each dog wears a “Pet Me” vest with their name. Follow @cltairport on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out when the dogs are here and where you can find them.
2. Rock around the clock
Located across the airport, our signature white rocking chairs are the perfect way to relax and rock away the time. Rocking relieves stress and makes the time go by faster. Rock while you work, take a cat nap or just gaze out the windows where you can watch the life of an airport up close and personal. Just don’t get so comfortable that you miss your flight!
And our favorite thing to do to pass the time in the Airport is …. drum roll, please …
No. 1 People watching.
No matter where you are in the Airport, grab a seat and watch the people of CLT go by. More than 20,000 people work at CLT. In addition, 46.4 million people traveled in and out of CLT last year. That’s 3,870,365 people a month or 127,244 people a day. It’s the best people watching show in town.
Honorable mentions: The USO lounge on the second floor of the Atrium is a great respite for military service members and their families. Nearby, the CLT Interfaith Chapel is open 24 hours a day seven days a week to all people seeking a place to reflect.