Sleeping in Airports

Charlotte Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Charlotte Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

Charlotte’s only saving grace is the garden area by the fountain outside of security -a traveller

Airport Overview

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 Douglas Airport.

What to Expect

Charlotte Douglas Airport consists of five concourses (A, B, C, D and E) and perhaps unsurprisingly, there can be some very long walks between gates if you have a connecting flight. Some reviewers describe the airport as worn out and inefficient, with some particularly congested areas around the gates.  When it comes to amenities,  CLT has a decent range of shopping and dining options airside.  All concessions – with the exception of the landside Starbucks – close overnight.  While free WiFi is available, power points seem to be in short supply.  For added comfort, economy class passengers can access first class lounges with either a day pass or an Admirals Club membership.   See Airport Lounges on the guide below for locations and access information.

Where to Sleep

If you’re just looking for a comfortable place to lay down during the day, there are a handful of good spots throughout the terminal. Rest zones are located in concourses D and E, and in the landside atrium. Gate B16 has armrest-free seating in a dark, quiet area under the overpass. Gates B4 and B8 also have armrest-free seating.

If you’re planning to sleep overnight at Charlotte Airport, it’s worth noting that nobody is allowed to sleep airside once security closes for the night – around 1 or 2AM. Those passengers who are airside at that time will be asked to go landside until security re-opens in the morning, and you may be asked to provide ID and proof of an outbound flight.  Unfortunately, the landside area of the terminal isn’t reviewed as very sleepable. Those who have spent the night cite hard, cold and dirty floors, bright lights and loud announcements as major sleep inhibitors.  There are apparently some couches and padded chairs in the Terminal E pre-security area, and a few quiet nooks under the escalators in Zones B and C in baggage claim. A sleeping pad is recommended.

Given that Charlotte sees its fair share of weather-related flight cancellations, it’s not uncommon to be stuck here overnight. During these major delays, the airport has provided cots, snacks and refreshments to stranded travellers.  If you’re looking for uninterrupted sleep there are hotels nearby that are connected by shuttles.  See Airport Hotels in the guide below.

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

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door or through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

American Airlines Admirals Club – Multiple Locations – (1) Concourse B and (1) Concourse C.  Lounge Access: Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

Military Lounge

USO Lounge – The USO offers a lounge that is free of charge to active members of the US military and their families. Location:Main Atrium, 2nd Floor.  [ more info ]

Airport Hotels

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 minutes from the airport) Free airport shuttle is available. » Check Rates
  • Holiday Inn Charlotte Airport – (5 minutes from the airport) Free 24-hour airport shuttle service is available on demand. » Check Rates
  • Days Inn Charlotte Airport North – (3 minutes from the airport) Free 24-hour airport shuttle. » Check Rates

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.

Airport WiFi / Internet

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

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

ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: Landside and Airside.

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.

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 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: 6:30AM – 10:00PM) • Concourse D (Hours: 6:30AM – 10:00PM) • Ticketing Zone D (Hours: 8:00AM – 8:00PM).

Duty Free & Shopping – Duty-free shopping is available, along with a variety of retail shops and newsstands.

Food & Drinks – The airport offers over 45 restaurants and cafes, both Landside and Airside. At the time of this update, we are unable to confirm the availability of any 24-hour dining options.

Information Desk – Location: Ticketing area, landside.

Luggage Storage & Lockers – Not available.

Mobile Charging – Mobile charging stations are located landside and airside, throughout the terminal. Power outlets can also be found throughout the Atrium and all concourses. Additionally, portable power can be purchased from some of the airport’s retailers.

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.

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.

Airlines

As of March 2018, Charlotte airport is served by the following airlines: Air Canada • American Airlines • Delta • Frontier Airlines • JetBlue Airways • Lufthansa • Southwest Airlines • United Airlines • ​ViaAir​.

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 (30 minutes total trip). Alternatively, you can pick up taxi at the airport and take it directly to the Amtrak Station (15 minutes total).

Bus

The airport is served by three bus routes:

  • Route 5 Airport Sprinter – Runs between Center City and the airport in less than 30 minutes.
  • Route 590 Airport Connector – Runs express between the Northlake Mall Park and Ride and the airport.
  • Route 591 Airport Connector – Runs between the airport and three LYNX Blue Line light rail stations (Archdale, Tyvola and Woodlawn).

All buses depart every 20 – 30 minutes depending on time and day of week, most operate from roughly 5:00AM – 12:00AM and fares(as of January 2018) range from $2-$3 per ride (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. Thrifty provides 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.

Last updated: 2018-10-29

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   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/update any items mentioned in the guide, write a review or send an email to [email protected] and we will update this guide.