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Charlotte Airport Guide

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
-a traveller

Airport Overview

charlotte airport

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us during their time at Charlotte International Airport.

What to Expect

  • CLT is a large airport with five concourses: A, B, C, D and E.
  • There can be very long walks between gates if you have a connecting flight.
  • Some travellers described a worn and inefficient airport, with periodic congestion near the gates.
  • A good variety of shopping and dining options, post-security
  • Delays and cancellations due to inclement weather, especially during hurricane season and winter
  • Sparse and sometimes broken power outlets, according to a few reviews.
  • The airport provides free WiFi. See WiFi below.

Where to Sleep

  • After security checkpoints close for the night (between 1:00AM - 2:00AM), passengers are restricted to landside only. Passengers sleeping airside will be required to go back to landside until security reopens, and will need to clear security again to re-enter.
  • Reviewers report there are no suitable areas to sleep landside, due to hard, ice cold floors, dirty carpets, bright lights, loud announcements and lack of seating. Security may ask you for ID and proof of flight.
  • Over on airside, armrest-free seating can be found in a dark, quiet area under an overpass at Gate B16. Some armrest-free seats can also be found at Gates B4 and B8.
  • One reviewer noted a quiet area with couches and padded chairs in the pre-security area of Terminal E, power outlets nearby.
  • Some reviews mention quiet nooks under the escalators in Zone B and Zone C of the baggage claim area.
  • Terminal A has no armrest-free seating, but is warmer than Terminal B, according to one review.
  • The airport can get very cold due to the constant A/C, so have a blanket handy!
  • During major flight delays, the airport has a supply of cots. Snacks and refreshments are reported to be have been handed out.
  • There are no hotels located at the airport. However, there are nearby hotels that provide free airport shuttle. See Airport Hotels below.

Good to Know

  • After security checkpoints close for the night (between 1:00AM - 2:00AM), passengers are restricted to landside only.
  • Aside from a Starbucks (landside) airport shops and restaurants close at night. Stash some snacks and beverages for later, while you can!
  • Economy class passengers can find comfort in one of the lounges that are accessible with a day pass or Admirals Club membership. See our Airport Lounges below for locations and rates.

For more information about the services and facilities available, scroll down to continue exploring our Charlotte Airport Guide. Send us your airport tips to help us keep this information up to date.


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Charlotte Airport Information

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.

Airport Lounges

If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at Charlotte airport either by purchasing a lounge pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):

  • American Airlines Admirals Club - Location: Concourse B, Airside, between Gates 3 and 5. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 59.00) • Admirals Club Membership.
  • American Airlines Admirals Club - Location: Concourse C, Airside, at the intersection of C and D concourses. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 59.00) • Admirals Club Membership.

Military Lounge

USO Lounge - The USO offers a lounge that is free of charge to members of the US 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: 6:00AM - 10:00PM.

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Airport WiFi / Internet

Free WiFi is available at Charlotte Airport. Connect to the “CLT Free WiFi” network.

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Airport Hotels

If sleeping in Charlotte Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport that offer free airport shuttle:

To see more options there is a list of hotels near Charlotte Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

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More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

  • ATMs / Cash Machines - Located throughout landside and airside areas of the airport.
  • Baby Care Facilities - The airport provides a peaceful room for breastfeeding mothers. Two stalls available with privacy curtains, cushioned rocking chairs and power outlets. Location: Upper level of the Atrium, across from the airport chapel (directly above Cinnabon). Diaper changing facilities are available in all airport restrooms.
  • Car Rentals - Yes, see our Airport Transportation section below.
  • 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 we receive about this, we'll also let you know that cots cannot be "reserved" and we don't know where they are kept. Please speak to a gate agent or an airport employee.
  • Currency Exchange - Travelex offers currency exchange, Western Union, business services, and more. Three locations: Atrium (Hours: 7:00AM - 8:00PM) • Concourse D (Hours: 2:00PM - 8:00PM) • Ticketing Zone D (Hours: 7:00AM - 9:00PM).
  • Duty Free & Shopping - Duty-free shopping is available, along with a variety of retail shops and newsstands.
  • Food & Drinks - Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. At the time of this update, we are unable to confirm the availability of 24-hour dining.
  • Information Desk - Location: Ticketing area, landside.
  • Luggage Storage & Lockers - not available.
  • Mobile Charging - Mobile charging stations are located landside and airside, throughout the terminal.
  • 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 & Salon Services - Manicures, pedicures, facials, massages and more are available at XpresSpa. Location: At the entrance of Concourse B, airside. Hours: unknown. Terminal Getaway Spa offers a wide range of beauty treatments and massage for the weary traveler. Location: Atrium, airside, across from American Airlines Admiral Club. Hours: unknown.

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Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

Keep in mind that TSA, airline check-in and baggage drop hours vary according the flight schedule. Check these hours with your airline. If you are in the public area of the terminal (landside) you will not be able to get through to the secure area of the terminal (airside) until the morning. The TSA security screening checkpoint hours vary according to location:

  • Checkpoint A: 4:00AM - 8:15PM
  • Checkpoint B: 5:00AM - 7:15PM
  • Checkpoint D: 5:00AM - 9:15PM
  • Checkpoint E: 6:00AM - 10:15PM

Times are subject to change without notice.

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Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Amtrak Connections

To travel from the airport to the Amtrak station via public transportation, take the Charlotte Area Transit Airport Route 5 Sprinter to the Charlotte Transportation Center. From the Charlotte Transportation Center, you will need to take a taxi the additional two miles to the Amtrak Station. Alternatively, you can pick up taxi at the airport and take it directly to the Amtrak Station. All Ground Transportation for the airport is located curbside outside baggage claim. Travel time via bus and taxi will be about 30 minutes. Travel time via taxi will be less than 15 minutes.

Bus

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.

Car Rentals

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.

Hotel Shuttles

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. Here are some hotels that offer shuttle service: Best Western Plus Sterling Hotel & Suites   •   Clarion Hotel Airport & Conference Center   •   Comfort Suites Airport   •   Courtyard Charlotte Airport   •   Econo Lodge Inn & Suites Charlotte Airport   •   Hampton Inn & Suites Charlotte Airport   •   Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte Airport   •   Holiday Inn Charlotte Airport Hotel   •   Hyatt Place Charlotte Airport/Tyvola Road   •   La Quinta Inn & Suites Charlotte Airport North   •   La Quinta Inn & Suites Charlotte Airport South   •   Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel   •   Sleep Inn Billy Graham Parkway   •   SpringHill Suites Charlotte Airport   •   Wingate by Wyndham Charlotte Airport I-85/I-485.

Taxi

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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Last Updated:09 March 2017

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning and is subject to change at any time. The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors, or to add/change any items mentioned in the guide, please email us at guides@sleepinginairports.com.

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