What Is A Reasonable Connection Time At Charlotte Airport?

What Is A Reasonable Connection Time At Charlotte Airport

Traveling can be a stressful experience, especially when you have connecting flights to catch. So, what is a reasonable connection time at Charlotte Airport? 

When it comes to connecting flights at Charlotte Airport, it is essential to consider various factors such as terminal layout, security procedures, and airline policies. In this article, we will explore the factors to consider and provide guidance on how to determine a suitable connection time at Charlotte Airport.

What Is A Reasonable Connection Time At Charlotte Airport?

A reasonable connection time at Charlotte Airport would typically be around 45 minutes to 1 hour for a domestic flight. This allows enough time to navigate through the airport, go through security checks, and reach the next gate for your connecting flight. 

For Domestic Connections

For domestic connections without checked baggage and within the same terminal or adjacent terminals, a layover of around 45 to 60 minutes might be sufficient if your arriving flight is on time.

However, it’s often recommended to have at least 60 to 90 minutes for a buffer, especially if you’re not familiar with the airport or if you’re traveling during peak times.

For International Connections

For international connections or connections that require you to change terminals, it’s safer to have a longer layover, ideally around 2 to 3 hours. 

During this time, you should factor in the necessary steps of clearing customs and immigration – which can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more depending on the size of the airport and the number of travelers. 

Additionally, for international connections, you’ll need to factor in the time needed to collect your checked baggage from one flight and re-check it for the next.

How Long Does It Take To Go Through Customs In Charlotte?

The average wait time to go through customs at Charlotte Douglas International Airport is approximately 8.95 minutes. However, it is an average, and wait times can vary depending on factors such as the time of day, the number of incoming flights, and the efficiency of the customs process. 

Tip 📌: Allow ample time for customs clearance when traveling through any airport to avoid any potential delays or missed connections.

Is A 30-Minute Layover Too Short In Charlotte Airport?

Is A 30-Minute Layover Too Short In Charlotte Airport?
Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Yes, in most cases, a 30-minute layover at Charlotte Airport can be considered too short. This is primarily because Charlotte Airport is one of the busiest airports in the United States which can result in long queues at security checkpoints and immigration.

Additionally, navigating the airport and finding the correct gate for your connecting flight can also take some time, especially if the airport is unfamiliar to you. 

Lastly, unexpected delays or changes in flight schedules can further reduce the already limited time for a layover. 

Is A 45-Minute Layover Enough?

A 45-minute layover at Charlotte Airport can be enough for domestic flights, but it may not be sufficient for international flights. This is because international flights involve additional procedures such as passport control, customs clearance, and potentially transferring between terminals or airports which take extra time.

Domestic flights, on the other hand, typically require passengers to go through security checks and reach their boarding gates within a specific timeframe, which can usually be achieved within 45 minutes. 

Is 1-Hour Layover Enough Time In Charlotte?

A 1-hour layover in Charlotte can be a bit tight, depending on the specific circumstances. Charlotte Airport is a major hub and can often be quite busy, especially during peak travel times. While the airport is well-organized and efficient, there is still the possibility of delays or long security lines.

Additionally, if you have to change terminals or if your connecting gate is far away, it may take some time to navigate through the airport. 

Tip 📌: Leave some buffer time for unforeseen circumstances. Hence, if possible, a longer layover would be preferable to ensure a stress-free transfer.

Is Charlotte Airport Easy To Navigate?

Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) is considered to be relatively easy to navigate compared to some other larger airports. It has a single terminal layout, with five concourses (A, B, C, D, and E) radiating from a central atrium. This design makes it straightforward to move between gates and facilities

The airport also provides clear signage and helpful staff to assist passengers in finding their way. 

Additionally, CLT offers various amenities and services, such as numerous dining and shopping options, which are conveniently located throughout the terminal. 

Does Charlotte Airport Have A Smoking Area?

No, Charlotte Airport is a smoke-free facility, which means that smoking is not allowed in any of the restaurants, bars, lounges, or airline clubs. However, there is a designated area outside the terminal, located 100 feet away from the doorway, where smoking is permitted. 

Note📝: In order to return to the gate area after smoking, passengers will need to go through the security checkpoint again.

How Big Is Charlotte Douglas Airport?

Charlotte Douglas International Airport covers an impressive 7,500 acres of land, making it one of the largest airports in the United States. This includes five terminals (A-E) and two concourses (A North & A South). CLT also features three cargo operations areas, two FAA Control Towers, and over 100 gates. 

Not only does CLT have the capacity to handle over 40 million passengers annually, but it also has the ability to accommodate over 500 aircraft per hour.

Aside from its sheer size, what really makes Charlotte Douglas International Airport great is its user-friendly design. 

With all of the terminals connected airside past the security checkpoints, passengers can easily walk between all terminals and concourses without having to go through any additional security checks. 

What Are The Different Charlotte Douglas Airport Terminals?

Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) has six terminals: Concourse A, Concourse B, Concourse C, Concourse D, Concourse E, and Main Terminal. Each terminal at the airport has a varying number of gates. Concourse A has 16 gates, Concourse B has 17 gates, and Concourse C has 18 gates.

Concourse D has 13 gates, Concourse E has 38 gates, and the Main Terminal has 4 gates.

These terminals are used by major airlines such as American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines, among others.

What Is The Travel Time Between All Terminals At CLT?

What Is The Travel Time Between All Terminals At CLT?
Photo by Daniel Lim on Unsplash

On average, it takes approximately 10-15 minutes to travel between terminals at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). However, it is important to note that this is just an estimate and actual travel time may be longer or shorter depending on the specific circumstances. 

It is always recommended to allow for extra time when traveling between terminals to account for any unexpected delays or obstacles.

  Terminal A (A21-29) Terminal A (A1-13) Terminal B Terminal C Terminal D Terminal E
Terminal A (A21-29) 3 minutes 5 minutes 7 minutes 9 minutes 11 minutes
Terminal A (A1-13) 3 minutes 2 minutes 4 minutes 6 minutes 8 minutes
Terminal B 5 minutes 2 minutes 2 minutes 4 minutes 6 minutes
Terminal C 7 minutes 4 minutes 2 minutes 2 minutes 4 minutes
Terminal D 9 minutes 6 minutes 4 minutes 2 minutes 2 minutes
Terminal E 11 minutes 8 minutes 6 minutes 4 minutes 2 minutes

Is Charlotte Airport Busy?

The answer is yes! CLT is one of the busiest airports in the world, with an average of 1,400 arrivals and departures every day. It’s also home to over 118,000 people who travel to and from here daily. 

Here are a few tips to help make your Charlotte airport experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Tip 1📌: First, it’s important to know that CLT is a hub for American Airlines, which has flights to over 150 domestic and international destinations. It’s also home to Frontier, Southwest, and United airlines. 

Tip 2📌:When planning your flight schedule, be sure to leave plenty of time for connections. Minimum connection times can range from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the type of flight and the airline you’re flying with.

Tip 3📌:When you arrive at CLT, check in at one of the five concourses (A, C, D, E, and F). Concourse C is the terminal for international flights. 

All concourses are connected by a single upper level, so you can easily move between them. 

Tip 4📌:Once you’re ready to board your plane, make sure to leave plenty of time for security checks and other processes.

Which Different Airlines Operate From CLT (Charlotte Douglas International Airport)?

Concourse A is home to a variety of airlines including Air Canada, Contour, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country Airlines, Swift Air, United Airlines, Viva Aerobus, and Volaris. The Concourse B is solely operated by American Airlines. Concourse C also exclusively serves American Airlines. 

Additionally, Concourse D is shared by American Airlines and Lufthansa. Lastly, Concourse E is another section operated by American Airlines. 

With a variety of airlines operating from different concourses, CLT offers passengers a range of options for their flights.

What Are The Different Transportation Available In CLT?

The airport offers a wide variety of transportation options to get you where you need to go in the Queen City. Bus services such as the Sprinter operated by CATS run between the airport and Uptown Charlotte every 20 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes during evenings and weekends. 

There is also the option of shuttle or limousine services operated by pre-arranged providers, as well as taxis available from the arrivals level curbside. 

Additionally, there are plenty of ride service companies operating out of the airport such as Uber and Lyft.

For domestic connections at Charlotte Douglas, the minimum connection time is 75 minutes if arriving on one concourse (C, D, or E) and departing from another. 

If connecting between two different concourses (A, B, or C) with the same airline, the minimum connection time is 90 minutes. 

For international connections, it is recommended that travelers arrive at least 2 hours before their departure time to ensure a smooth travel experience.

How Does The Type Of Flight (Domestic, International) Influence The Appropriate Connection Time At CLT?

For domestic flights, the minimum connection time for CLT is usually 30 minutes. This gives passengers plenty of time to get through security checkpoints and make it to their next flight. Additionally, most domestic airlines have a flat rate, meaning that all passengers must pass through the same security procedures.

If you’re flying out of Concourse A, C, or E, you’ll be going through the Upper-Level security checkpoint.

However, if you’re flying an international flight into CLT, the minimum connection time is usually higher, around an hour. 

This is due to the additional immigration and customs checks that must be completed before passengers can board their next flight. 

In addition, some international carriers may require additional security screenings which could add more time to your connection time.

Are There Amenities For Passengers With Longer Connection Times?

Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) welcomes travelers with a wide array of dining and shopping options, catering to diverse tastes. CLT also offers amenities like the Business Center, with Wi-Fi, computers, and meeting rooms for productivity. Other comforts include a 24-hour massage chair room and complimentary yoga classes.


In conclusion, determining a reasonable connection time at Charlotte Airport hinges on multiple variables. Terminal changes, flight type (domestic/international), security checks, and potential delays influence the ideal duration. 

Longer periods are often recommended for international flights due to extensive immigration and customs processes, while domestic connections tend to require less time. 

To ensure smooth transitions and minimize stress, travelers should tailor their connection times to individual circumstances, factoring in these crucial considerations.

Swati Jaiswal

Swati Jaiswal is a dedicated traveler and an even dedicated individual who specializes in travel, digital marketing, & health and fitness niches. Passport stamps and coffee stains are her badges of honor.

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