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Airport expecting “busiest” travel season as Memorial Day weekend approaches

Charlotte Douglas International Airport anticipates more than one million travelers for the unofficial start of summer.

Lines of travelers carrying luggage make their way through Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Passengers can access all gates from any checkpoint once cleared through TSA at Charlotte Douglas.

Photo by CLTairport

The busiest days to travel are upon us. AAA forecasts nearly 44 million people will be traveling for Memorial Day weekend.

“We haven’t seen Memorial Day weekend travel numbers like these in almost 20 years,” said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport has issued travel guidance ahead of the busy travel weekend. AAA projects 3.5 million travelers will hit the skies — nearly 5% more than Memorial Day weekend in 2023.

The busiest days for flying will be Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24. “CLT is expecting 1.05 million people traveling through the airport during that time frame,” says Jerome Woodard, the Chief Operating Officer at CLT.

Cars driving past the departures area, facing Uptown Charlotte.

The departure area at Charlotte Douglas anticipates the canopy completion will happen this fall.

Photo by CLTtoday

Parking at the airport is expected to be in high demand. “The most efficient practice is to book your parking when you book your flight — it will give you access to the best available rates,” says Woodard.

Travelers should expect long lines and are cautioned to plan for potential delays. “We are continuing to deploy state-of-the-art checkpoint technology. It increases security effectiveness, efficiency, and enhances the traveler experience,” says Andrew Small with the Transportation Security Administration.

Charlotte Douglas offered tips to ease travel woes:

  • Book parking ahead of travel
  • Arrive at least two hours before a domestic flight, three hours before an international flight
  • Monitor security wait times
  • Register for TSA pre-check

Traffic is also expected to increase on the roadways. AAA forecasts 38 million people will travel by car over Memorial Day weekend — the highest number since AAA began tracking data in 2000.

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