Insane: Charlotte Named Most Efficient North American Airport [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Meh. New transfer bonuses:
    • Amex 15% to Avianca LifeMiles through August 31
    • Amex 25% to Hilton Honors through August 31
    • Chase 50% to Marriott through September 30

  • Charlotte Douglas named most efficient North American airport Exsqueeze me? Well, it’s all in the definition of efficient, and that has nothing whatsoever to do with passenger experience (“Unit costs and cost competitiveness” is a key metric) but it seems like efficiency should include operations, and oy those alleyways and those E to A and B connections.

  • People want to buy one way airline tickets for homeless living in Anchorage

  • A bunch of people have speculated that Hyatt’s deal for a new reservations system bodes poorly for awards, foreshadowing the introduction of dynamic redemption pricing.

    However Hyatt tells me that is a misunderstanding of how their systems are set up and this is unrelated – that “the current Central Reservation System (CRS) does not factor in determining the number of points required for redemption and the new CRS, Sabre’s SynXis Central Reservation System, will not either. The number of points required for redemption is managed by another system and is not impacted by” the move to this new system.

  • Travel makes you a better reader

  • Why is fish and chips in decline in the U.K.?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Best this, best that. These stupid “named/voted/awarded” things are all bs. EVERY dollar slice place in Manhattan has a “Voted Best Pizza” sign in the window. Yes, I know the dollar slice is now 3 bucks….wonder what happened….

  2. CLT is the worst hub airport for any US airline. Super crowded people walking 8 abreast blocking people from passing. 25 minute legal connections on AA and surly gate agents. Worst big airport in the US what a joke

  3. If faced with cheaper flight that goes thru CLT, I always choose the more expensive one that doesnt.

  4. Um, okay.. Some people see CLT as efficient. Others see it as a dumpster fire inside a train wreck that is the lead act in a sh@tshow. May be a great hub for AA, but it’s a lousy hub for passengers. Wonder if CLT airport officials realize their once lovely hub is now a place to avoid for many.

  5. I agree with Chris. A local magazine frequently has “best physicians” in our city, listed by specialty. A newspaper reporter discovered that a better heading for them would be, “physicians who paid the most to our magazine for publicity”. That might not be true with airports, but in a world where everybody is a winner of something such titles don’t mean much. (And hey, I just hung up my 50th or so triathlon participant medal. At least they are artistic.)

  6. I was speaking to a couple from Charleston, SC two days ago, and I told them that there was only one thing I disliked about their city: the Charlotte airport! Their response: “You should have flown Delta.”

  7. @Jason So you were talking to a couple from Charleston tell them how much you dislike their airport in Charlotte? I’m confused. But, yes, you probably should have flown Delta.

  8. It’s been a while. Does it still have those lovely wooden rocking chairs facing the window? Not that I ever rocked in them. Maybe the list maker likes rocking chairs.

  9. I guess you can find someone or some organization that will name anything “Best”.

  10. Nice clickbait title, acting shocked in the title, then conceding in the article your recognition that it’s all based upon the researcher’s definition of “efficiency.”

    It’s no surprise that it is highly efficient from a business/operational perspective. It has low costs and they maximize throughput. Those same factors cause a level of chaos and dissatisfaction on the customer experience side. Still, they’ve added a priority pass The Club lounge and a Centurion lounge, and if you avoid the 25 min connections it really isn’t so bad. Also don’t mind the people watching from the rocking chairs on the upper mezzanine of the central terminal.

  11. Other than the Centurion Lounge, CLT airport is terrible. Still not set up for CLEAR, can’t get a TSA interview for remainder of 2023 online, Construction has been lagging behind on completion, escalators are out of service, parking situation is crap. Airport has gone downhill since 2018. Restaurants there suck. inconsistent rules about security checks from gate to gate and staff are rude. Baggage people are the WORST most unprofessional loudmouths. Airlines in an attempt to save money hire lowlifes thugs and hood rats and the airport looks like a bus station

  12. Agreed I will pay more just to avoid Charlotte
    Horribly crowed no place to sit and horrible food with the exception of Bojangles for some unhealthy fried chicken
    Ok with DFW ORD Phoenix anything but Charlotte given the choice

  13. Charlotte isn’t a pretty airport, nor is it particularly charming, but it certainly has some advantages over Atlanta, which is its next competitor. Atlanta is simply too big, and a pain to arrive and depart from, with bottlenecks at security, long travel times from arrival to curb, and is generally an unpleasant experience, but for the relatively short taxi times on departure, and arrival.

    Charlotte does need a huge remodel and its concourses are too narrow, built for the US Airways days and not for the volume it handles today.

  14. @SOB ER DOC —> Nothing confusing about it. The people I was speaking with understood me perfectly! The Charlotte airport SUCKS! It’s gawd-awful! But if you are flying on American, or are a oneworld “loyalist” (i.e.: crediting your miles to a oneworld member airline), you end up connecting via CLT. Thus their response. They knew immediately I flew AA and their proffered solution was to take DL next time. Simple.

  15. Armpit, cesspool, low rent, full of kettle, broken, old, outdated, cheap, tacky……lots of ways to describe the CLT Airport, but most efficient is not one. When on American, I only do Dallas, Chicago or Miami….if they try to force me through CLT, I flip over to Delta.

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