Navigating Chaos: Why Charlotte’s Airport Is A Nightmare For Connecting [Roundup]

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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. The Charlotte marathon… or super-sprint, when close-connects and perpetually late flights are involved.

  2. CLT is poorly run period. We have been stuck on the tarmac waiting for a gate for over an hour when we could have all walked off the plane and made our connecting flights but the towers can not many the gates On departure flight our gate was changed 4 times in a 1 hour period before door closing.

    It is inept workers who do not know how to schedule and manage the gates

  3. LHR does not have the issues and you need to walk 5 miles take a bus get stripped search between terminal 4 and 5 but we can still make it. Bru will have you deplane off the stairs onto a bus to get to a terminal when a gate is not open

  4. In the divorce, they have to split the sandals apparel because it is community property.

  5. Quite a few years ago, maybe the 90s (?) I enjoyed Charlotte airport. It was relaxing, people were nice but now it is just too crowded and too many flights are using it daily.

  6. Last week on AA:

    7 Tickets
    2 Cancellations
    2 flights delayed >1 hour
    1 Miconnect (at CLT! )
    2 On time

    American Airlines – Going For Great!

  7. CLT is great though if your trip involves two regional flights – within E terminal is a pretty easy connection

  8. Far and away the worst of some lousy former USAir hubs. Instead of making it somewhat manageable AA just keeps stuffing more and more flights to add to the nightmare, Connecting from Eagle to Mainline is a total train wreck. In addition to the distance, half the time numerous moving sidewalks are out of service – often for weeks. A place to be avoided if connecting, but more likely than not cannot be avoided.

  9. AUS-CLT. AA Purchased F but fortunately selected connection with more than two hours ground time. Departed AUS late then held at CLT for gate.
    THEN disembarked at A concourse and got my 10,000 steps to connect with Regional Jet to Charleston WV on the last flight of the night with 15 minutes to spare.
    I can’t think of any reason to connect through CLT again when there are other options. And I’m really running out of reasons to use AA

  10. In the 80’s I often had business in Charlotte. Often flew in and out on Eastern. Nice small, efficiently run airport. Never, ever had a problem. Later in life, had different job. No more Charlotte, or Eastern.

  11. Gary, you take a lot of potshots at CLT. I fly a lot more than most people and I surmise that you fly a lot more than me but three quarters of my flights go through CLT and I can aver that I have never seen crowds like in the above picture. Also, I’m okay with CLT. Of course it could use improvements (what couldn’t) but it’s not some horror show. Probably the best thing about the airport is the Amex lounge but there are a number of restaurants and the moving walkways are helpful. Even during popular periods the crowds have never been too bad.
    You allude to infrastructure improvements. CLT has been under construction for over a decade. I genuinely would like to hear what practical improvements you would suggest besides adding lounges.

  12. In part, Gary is jealous that CLT somehow has better flight options than does AUS, even though the latter has some automated coffee machine kiosk that he loves. It seems no one can make AUS work as more than a music oriented destination despite so many US and international airlines trying. He calls CLT an airport w “out sized service” but when British or LH enter and then abandon AUS and Delta has stupid lift, it’s the fault of those airlines for not being able to make a third tier airport work.

  13. Funny how many delta employees and Atlanta boys jump on the clt attack

    But when you work at an airport built off the design of a double wide trailer park (Atlanta the entire city and airport), I guess all you can do is criticize someone else

  14. @Christian I was at CLT on Saturday, and concourses B & C looked as crowded as shown in the picture. It was unbelievable, and many flights, including ours, were delayed more than one hour. Lounges all had waiting time …

  15. CLT is an embarrasment to a city (Charlotte) that is constantly thumping-its-chest about being one of the ‘best cities for business’ (or places to live). If they are such a great city, then start over like Denver did and build a new airport

  16. I’ll be the contrarian here. When flying into and out of FL, alternate connection points DFW & MIA are far worse in my experience. DFW is terrific, but the weather is just atrocious. MIA is awful on both counts, leaving CLT as best of the worst!

  17. One of the ad networks used on your page is auto-opening a fake McAfee expiration renewal page. I’m not sure if you can control this in any way, but it’s shown up on a couple of your posts. Firefox on Windows.

  18. CLT is a ghetto…..reflective of a trashy city that does nothing but beat its chest and over promote. Not a very nice area of the country….unless you like pick-up trucks, chewing tobacco and chicken wings.

  19. Charlotte needs to build up, as in a second floor, down each concourse with moving sidewalks for connections. This would help alleviate the congestion from the crowded gates and restaurants/shops on the boarding level. They also need a tunnel (or bridge) from the end of B to C to alleviate connections having to traverse the full length of two crowded terminals.

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