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

Traveling with Children

Traveling with Pets




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
Due to active construction and new traffic patterns, navigating to the terminal can be more challenging.

  • 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.)
  • Drivers exiting the Airport can also access Wilkinson Boulevard by using Harlee Avenue.
  • While adjusting to new traffic patterns drive more cautiously and follow directional signage as construction remains ongoing.
  • 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
  • View TSA’s travel tips.
  • For up-to-date parking conditions and prices, call 704.359.5555 or visit  
  • Get dropped off at the Airport, carpool, ride CATS, or use one of the many taxi and ground transportation companies serving the Airport.
  • Visitors picking up family or friends are encouraged to park in the new Hourly Deck. It’s within walking distance to the terminal and the first hour is free. 
  • Another option is to park in one of two free Cell Phone Lots located off Rental Car Road. Just wait in your vehicle and ask your passenger to contact you when they claim their luggage, then drive to either level of the terminal to pick them up.
  • 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.
  • Check with your airline​ for updated flight information, as well as baggage size and weight rules. Additional fees could be applicable. 
  • 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.)
  • 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 is at a premium, allow more time to find a parking space and adjust to the Airport’s new traffic pattern.
  • 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.
  • Save time by using credit card or prepaid only lanes when exiting lots.
    • 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.
  •  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.
  • CLT parking facilities are open 24-hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. They are well-lit and patrolled regularly by Airport Police.
  • Airport Parking Customer Service Representatives can help answer questions. You can find them outside, on the Arrivals/Baggage area at a yellow stand.
  • Consider using the CATS Airport Connector to avoid parking – buses run every 30 minutes from two convenient locations. Click here for route and schedule information.
Parking OptionDaily Rate
Long Term Parking (Lots 1 – 4)$5
Business Valet$14
Curbside Valet$28


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 

  • Go against the grain: avoid congestion by dropping off passengers on the arrivals level or picking up passengers on the departures level.
  • CLT offers convenient options to drop off or pick up passengers.
    • Airport Overlook – Avoid Airport traffic by waiting for arriving travelers at the overlook located on Airport Overlook Drive off Old Dowd Road. Just wait in your vehicle and ask your passenger to contact you after they have claimed their luggage. The lot is open from 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. daily.
    • CATS Airport Connector – Travelers can be dropped off at one of two locations. Shuttles run every 30 minutes between 5 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. daily. More info can be found here.
    • 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
  • Avoid looping around the Airport.
  • Do not park or pull off roadways to wait for arriving travelers.
  • 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.) 
  • If you want to pick up your passenger by meeting them in the terminal, you will have to park and take a shuttle to the terminal.


  • 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.
  • Do not pack or bring prohibited items to CLT. For a complete list, visit the TSA website at
  • 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.

Traveling with Children

  • Allow extra time to check in and proceed through security checkpoints.
  • Pack activities for children such as coloring books, crayons or reading material.
  • Explore interesting art installations throughout the terminal; these include a replica of the original Wright brother’s flyer (Concourse E), 1939 Bellanca Model 14-9L (Concourse D) and the First in Flight kinetic clock tower mobile in the Atrium.
  • Contact your airline before heading to the airport for an adult to accompany a child traveling alone. 

Traveling with Pets

  • Check with your airline concerning specific policies for traveling with pets.
  • Animal relief areas are located outside the terminal, prior to security checkpoints, on the Baggage Claim/lower level. Rescreening through a security checkpoint is required upon re-entry.
  • Except for service animals, pets should remain in their carriers while indoors.