Holiday traffic at Charlotte Douglas issue for drivers once again


CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) — More than 30,000 flyers traveled in or out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport Wednesday. You may remember one year ago around this time there was a debacle trying to drive up to the airport. Since that time more parking spaces have been added, but has it improved traffic flow at the airport?

Flying home this Thanksgiving got off to an easy start for most travelers. 

“Everything was smooth. We didn’t have any issues. We left in plenty of time,” said one passenger who arrived from Indianapolis.

But that’s just one task of travel. Traffic getting to and from the airport terminal is another challenge.

“Post-apocalyptic. I hope it’s not like that this year,” said Manny Fanarjian.

Fanarjian was describing this scene about one year ago when traffic was so heavy, it was bumper to bumper up to Little Rock Road.

This year the airport has more officers directing drivers and more parking spaces for those flying out. It’s all in an effort to improve the time it takes to get to and from the airport.

“We haven’t been here in a long time and we thought it might be hard to get in. We left an hour early and got here early. It has really grown since the last time we were here. It has expanded. Everything is different,” said Dan Swinney, who was picking up his son from the airport.

But is traffic any different? There were long lines Wednesday afternoon and into the night. 

FOX 46 Charlotte put it to the test by driving around the airport. Entering off Little Rock Road was a breeze until about halfway. Out crew sat in traffic for about 20 minutes before arriving at the American Airlines pickup.

Then the challenge was finding a parking spot curbside, without cutting people off.

“When we came in we stopped at the hourly parking, instead of coming up and waiting for him curbside because we knew it would be easier to park in a parking lot when leaving to get out,” said Swinney.

The next big travel day in Sunday when everyone returns home from Thanksgiving. Give yourself plenty of extra time if heading to the Charlotte Douglas International Airport as more than 30,000 passengers are expected once again.

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