Charlotte Airport Guide
In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our Charlotte Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!
Charlotte's only saving grace is the garden area by the fountain outside of security
photo credit: Aspersions / Wikimedia
As a non-rev flyer on US Airways, I have spent many a night at CLT, but not usually by choice. The secure areas close at night (except during periods of mass delays), but the ticketing and baggage claim areas remain open. I usually sleep in baggage claim, either on the floor or on the padded but partitioned seating. On the floor, it is important to have something to use as padding. 100 of the seating, both inside and outside security, has fixed metal arm rests. With practice and experimentation, I have learned how to sleep in them, but it's not optimal (slightly better than sleeping on a plane). A light blanket and earplugs are always required for comfortable sleeping at any airport. On the plus side, no one has ever hassled me in baggage claim, and because the airport is far from the city, it seems quite safe. (No one wandering there who doesn't work there.) Free airport-wide Wifi and adequate power sockets. Plenty of food inside security, but not much outside. During the day, a cheap city bus can take you to Walmart and other shopping/food along the route to downtown. (There are a couple of no-name motels along the bus route as well. Brand-name motels like Motel 6 are little trickier to get to and may involve some walking or a pricey taxi ride.)
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In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.
If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at Charlotte airport either by purchasing a day pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):
- American Airlines Admiral's Club - Location: Concourse B, Airside, between Gates 3 and 5. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 50.00) • Admiral's Club Membership.
- American Airlines Admiral's Club - Location: Concourse C, Airside, at the intersection of C and D concourses. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 50.00) • Admiral's Club Membership.
- USO Lounge - The USO offers a lounge to members of the military and their families.The Charlotte Center offers comfortable chairs, books, magazines, television, child care area, library, and drinks. Internet and phones are available free of charge. Location: Main Atrium, 2nd Floor. Hours: 6am - 10pm.
- Free WiFi is available throughout the airport. Connect to the "CLTNET" network.
- The Business Center offers computer workstation rentals, photocopy, faxing and conferencing services.
Location: in the Atrium
If sleeping in Charlotte Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport that offer free airport shuttle:
- Hampton Inn & Suites Charlotte Airport - (5 min from the airport) Free airport shuttle service available.
- Holiday Inn Charlotte Airport Conference Center - (5 min from the airport) Free 24-hr airport shuttle service available.
- Courtyard Charlotte Airport - (5 min from the airport) Free airport shuttle service available on request.
To find a cheap room, there is a list of hotels near Charlotte Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price.
- ATMs / Cash Machines - ATMs are located throughout the airport (landside and airside). The ATM beside First Citizens Bank dispenses Euros and GBP. Location: Departures/Ticketing.
- Car Rentals - Alamo • Avis • Budget • Dollar • Enterprise • Hertz • National • Thrifty and more. Location: All rental car companies, with the exception of Sixt and Thrifty, are located in the Rental Car Facility in the Level 2 lobby of the Hourly Parking Deck in front of the terminal.
- Chapel - Location: near the Ticketing Area, landside.
- Cots - In the event of bad weather or massive flight cancellations, this airport has a supply of cots for stranded travellers. If you are stranded during a weather delay, contact an airport employee to find out when the cots are located. Unfortunately, the cots are not available for travellers who simply decide to spend the night in the airport. Due to the amount of wacky email I receive about this, I'll also let you know that cots cannot be "reserved" and I don't know where they are kept.
- Currency Exchange - First Citizens Bank. Location: Departures/Ticketing Area. Hours: 9:00AM - 5:00PM Mon - Fri.
- Food & Drinks -
»Landside: Starbucks (Open 24 hours) • Charlotte Bistro
»Airside: Wendy's • Sbarro • TCBY • Starbucks • Pizza Hut • Burger King • Quizno's • Carolina Beer Co. • Salsarita's and many more dining options
- Information Desk - Look for the volunteers wearing the yellow oxford shirts throughout the airport.
- Luggage Storage & Lockers - not available.
- Mobile Charging - Locations: Atrium, Concourses B and C.
- Rest Zone: Rocking chairs are located in the Atrium (landside) and Concourses D and E (airside)
- Showers - not available
- Smoking Areas - Smoking is prohibited inside the airport. There are no designated smoking areas.
- Spa - Gateway Spa. Location: Landside across from US Airways Club.
The airport is open 24 hours.
Airport Transportation: Getting to/From The Airport
The airport is served by three bus routes in the CATS (Charlotte Area Transit System) public transportation network.
- Route 5 Airport Sprinter - Runs between Center City and the airport in less than 30 minutes. Buses depart every 20 mins (every 30 mins on the weekends) and run from 5:05AM - 12:00AM or later on weekends. The $2 fare can be paid in exact change or with a CATS transit pass.
- Route 590 Airport Connector - Runs express between the Northlake Mall Park and Ride and the airport. Buses depart every 30 minutes from 4:50AM - 11:25PM. $3 express fare required, paid with exact change or CATS transit pass.
- Route 591 Airport Connector - Runs between the airport and three LYNX Blue Line light rail stations (Archdale, Tyvola and Woodlawn). Buses depart every 30 minutes from 4:55AM - 11:25PM. $3 express fare required, paid with exact change or CATS transit pass.
For more information, visit the CATS web site.
The airport has recently opened its Rental Car Facility, located in the Level 2 Lobby of the Hourly Parking Deck in front of the airport terminal. The following car rental agencies can be found at the Rental Car Facility: Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and National. Two additional agencies, Sixt and Thrifty, provide courtesy shuttle to their nearby off-site location.
Several local hotels provide free airport shuttle service for their guests. These hotels can be contacted from the airport at one of the Traveler Information Centers located on the Baggage Claim Level.
Taxis that operate from the airport taxi rank adhere to airport guidelines, and are guaranteed to accept credit cards and have GPS. Most taxis charge according to a metered rate, but some taxi are authorized to charge a flat rate to destinations in the immediate area and city center. Taxis can be found curbside on the Baggage Claim Level, and an attendant is available from 6:45AM - 12:00AM.
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Other Useful Resources
- Official Airport Web Site
- Tripadvisor - search Charlotte hotel deals, check availability and read traveller reviews.
- Charlotte Sightseeing Tours & Activities - If you are would like to book sightseeing tours, activities or airport transfers in Charlotte our partner site has all the booking info, rates and traveller reviews.
Last Updated: 04 June 2015
The information in this Airport Guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airport's and their web sites. The information above is subject to change without notice. Use it for informational purposes only to help you during your stay. To report errors, or to add/change any items quoted in the guide, email me.