Travel Tips

Although you’ll find numerous travel tips throughout, we want to make it easier to plan ahead and have placed time-saving travel tips below.

Quick Links: 

General Tips

Passenger Pick-up/Drop-off

Navigating to and from CLT

Security Tips

Parking Tips

Finding your way Inside CLT

CATS Airport Connector


General Tips
  • All gates and concourses can be accessed through any security checkpoint.
  • Check with your airline for up-to-date baggage size and weight rules. Additional fees could be applicable.
  • Save time by printing boarding passes at home or using mobile boarding passes.
  • Contact your airline before heading to the airport for...
    • The most current flight information, regardless of your final destination.
    • Travel assistance carts, wheelchairs, passenger loading lifts, and personal assistance throughout a connection or an ADA escort.
    • Escort assistance for a minor. Additionally, if you are meeting a child requiring assistance at the gate, you must contact your airline in advance to make arrangements.
  • Handicap parking is available in all CLT lots and accessible shuttles run continuously.
  • Obtain specific information about Charlotte Douglas International Airport while on-the-go by visiting or by calling the Airport’s automated phone information at 704-359-4910.

Navigating to and From CLT
Navigating to the terminal can be more challenging due to active construction.

  • Plan extra time to adjust to the Airport's new traffic pattern.
  • Expect congestion and build extra time to get to the Airport.
  • To access Wilkinson Boulevard and I-485, drivers exiting the Airport
    •  will have to use Old Dowd Road to Marshall Drive. (Click here for more information.)
  • Click here to view a video of the new traffic pattern.
  • Click here to go to the Maps and Directions web page to find recommended alternate routes.

Parking Tips

  • Visit (or call 704-359-5555) to check real-time parking conditions. Click onto a parking option to receive directions directly to that deck or lot. (The real-time parking status map can be accessed on all mobile devices, smart phones and personal computers.)
  • CLT offers seven self-serve parking lots or decks and two valet options. All parking is provided on a first come, first served basis (except for Business and Curbside Valet).
  • Handicap parking is available in all CLT lots and accessible shuttles run continuously. If assistance is needed, please call 704-359-4038.
Parking Option Daily Rate
Long Term Parking (Lots 1 – 4) $5


Business Valet $14
Curbside Valet $28

Be a Smart Parker and Use Smart Park Express
SmartPark Express allows customers to save time exiting lots by using credit card or prepaid only lanes.

  • When parking, keep your parking ticket with you.
  • Upon returning to CLT, prepay parking tickets at a yellow Pay&Go machine. Two Pay&Go stations are housed outside the terminal in the shuttle bus lane at the Baggage Claim level and four are located at the Daily Decks’ shuttle bus stop. 
  • Click  here for more details about SmartPark Express.

More Helpful Parking Tips

  • Travelers can also consider the CATS Airport Connector, CLT's newest travel option.
  • Parking is at a premium, allow more time to park.
  • Pay attention to and follow signs indicating which lots are closed and how to navigate to open lots.
  • Remember where you’ve parked by snapping a picture with your cell phone of the parking lot's name. Keep your parking ticket with you and write down the bus shelter closest to your vehicle. If you are parking in a deck, write down the level and row nearest your vehicle. 
  • When parking, you may notice some lots are closed when it seems like there are parking spaces available. This is because there are not enough available spaces to properly service vehicles. Please proceed to an open lot.
  • Airport Parking Customer Service Representatives can help answer questions. You can find them outside, on the Arrivals/Baggage area at a yellow stand.
  • CLT parking facilities are open 24-hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. They are well-lit and patrolled regularly by Airport Police.
  • All parking facilities offer convenient handicap parking and accessible shuttles run continuously. If assistance is needed, please call 704-359-4038.
  • Plan extra time to adjust to the Airport's new traffic pattern.

    Click to review all of the parking FAQs or to visit CLT’s parking page.

    Learn more about SmartPark Express and how to make a quick exit from parking facilities by clicking here to watch a video.


    Passenger Pick-up /Drop-off 

    • Avoid looping around the Airport.
    • Do not park or pull off roadways to wait for arriving travelers.
    • CLT offers convenient options to drop off or pick up passengers.
      • Airport Overlook – Drivers can also avoid Airport traffic by waiting for arriving travelers at the Overlook located on Airport Overlook Drive off Old Dowd Road. The lot is open from 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. daily.
      • Cell Phone Lots – Utilize one of the two free Cell Phone Lots off Rental Car Road. Drivers are required to remain with their vehicles. Click here for more details and a map of locations.
      • Inexpensive Short Term Parking – CLT offers short term parking in all of the parking lots and decks (excluding Business and Curbside Valet). Free for the first 20 minutes to those choosing to help arriving parties to the terminal or pick them up in person.
    • Passengers can be picked up and dropped off along the terminal's curbside, however, vehicles cannot be left unattended.
    • Curbside parking is not allowed and unattended vehicles may be towed; this includes all lanes on the ticketing and baggage claim levels. (This policy also applies to passengers checking in luggage at the curbside.) 


    Picking up family or friends?
    Visitors picking up family or friends are encouraged to utilize the Airport Overlook or one of the two Cell Phone Lots. Just wait in your vehicle and ask your passenger to contact you when they claim their luggage, then drive to the terminal to pick up your passenger after they have claimed their luggage.

    If you want to pick your passenger up by meeting them in the terminal, you will have to park and take a shuttle to the terminal. The first 20 minutes of parking are free (excludes Business and Curbside Valet).

    Dropping off family or friends?
    Travelers can be dropped off at the terminal's curbside or by parking in one of the decks or lots and taking a shuttle to the terminal. The first 20 minutes of parking are free (excludes Business and Curbside Valet).


    • All security checkpoints are operated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
    • Security checkpoint lines may be adjusted to accommodate anticipated crowds. Pay close attention to signage and personnel directing you to proper queue lines.
    • Arrive early. Current security measures increase time needed to check in. When traveling with young children, infants, elderly or disabled passengers, allow even more time.
    • It is recommended that you inform a security checkpoint screener of any disability or if you are traveling with special equipment that cannot go through an x-ray inspection.
    • Have photo identification and boarding pass available. A valid government issued identification and boarding pass are required for gate access. Click here to learn more about TSA's identification requirements for airport checkpoints.
    • If you are meeting a child requiring assistance at the gate, you must contact your airline in advance to make arrangements for a gate pass.
    • All carry-on items must be screened at security checkpoints. Liquids are allowed in carry-on luggage in accordance with the 3-1-1 format. There are exceptions for baby food/formula as well as items needed for special medical purposes.
    • Do not wrap gifts.
    • Food items and gifts in liquid form, such as jams and lotions, are also limited to the 3-1-1 format for carry-ons. Liquid items that are more than 3 ounces in size that have been purchased beyond security checkpoints at CLT merchants are allowed on planes as they have already been screened.

    Click here for more security tips. For more security related information, questions or updates, please contact the TSA at 1-866-289-9673 or e-mail, or visit the TSA web site.


    Finding Your Way Inside CLT
    There are more than 1.8 million square feet and five concourses that make up the CLT terminal. With nearly 100 dining and shopping choices mixed among 95 gates, click here to use our interactive and printable terminal maps to find your way around.