Holiday travel is officially underway.
Driving the news: Security wait times may reach up to 45 minutes during busy times over the next 10 days, per Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Why it matters: The airport’s numbers aren’t just up for holiday travel, they’re sky-high for the year as a whole, surpassing record-breaking 2019 by 6% for total annual traffic, per the airport.
By the numbers: Airport leaders expect around 900,000 local and connecting passengers now through Monday, Nov. 27. That’s an increase of 9% from 2019 and 14% more than last year.
- The busiest days are expected to be Nov. 17, 22 and 25-27.
Of note: Parking will be in high demand, so consider booking parking online at parkCLT.com.
Here are four things to know before you head to the airport:
1. Checkpoint 1 is now open.
The airport is in the process of consolidating its five checkpoints to three, which will be known as checkpoints 1, 2 and 3 rather than A through E. The renovated checkpoints will include improved technology to help speed up getting passengers through security.
- Find security wait times here.
2. Checkpoint D closed.
It will reopen as Checkpoint 2. Checkpoint C, which will ultimately become part of Checkpoint 2, is still open for TSA PreCheck.
3. Drive-up parking rates increased this month to the following:
- Hourly deck: $8 per hour ($32 per day).
- Express deck preferred: $24.
- Express deck self-park: $20.
- Daily North: $14.
- Daily decks: $20.
- Long Term Lots 1&2: $12.
The airport cited local passenger growth and “the significant investment in the passenger parking program including the expansion of parking facilities” as the reason for the jump in pricing.
4. You can get food before going through security at Queen Charlotte’s Kitchen near baggage claim.
Queens Charlotte’s Kitchen opened in October. It’s near the Queen Charlotte statue and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, wine, beer and cocktails and Charlotte-based Pure Intentions Coffee.