Is CLT the new ORD (must avoid airport)?

Old Jun 17, 18, 4:40 am
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Is CLT the new ORD (must avoid airport)?

Many travelers have had travel disruptions at CLT this week. For the year, I have had four evening flights cancelled out of CLT, with no options until the next day. Starting to wonder if CLT is replacing ORD as the airport to avoid at any cost. Four flights cancelled in the first six months of the year, not weather related is a sign of an airport having issues.

I believe CLT has the lowest landing fees per PAX for any AA hub, but seems like CLT may be a “dam that is about to burst”.At CLT, getting a room for the night is a disaster, and when you do get to a hotel seems to be a lot of non-tourist activities going on. Having numerous CLT flights cancelled the prior year, I learned it is better to just suck it up and sleep on the CLT airport floor- then to ask AA for a hotel room. Not worth waiting in line for a room reservation, waiting another 90 minutes for a shuttle to come by, for a shady hotel room.

I had two evening flights cancelled out of ORD in the past ten years. One was AA ORD-ANC (flight crew ran out of hours) on a 757. AA put us up at the airport Hilton. Another flight I can’t recall the destination, AA put me up at the Marriott. If I am going to be stuck at a airport- seems like CLT is not a good location to get a hotel room when MX and related issues have PAX spending the night.

CLT does have a good thing- a Chick-fil-a, maybe the best fast food value at any hub airport, and seems like much more predictable quality than other airport fast food options.


CLT- replacing ORD as the airport to avoid at any cost?

Last edited by GunsOfNavarone; Jun 17, 18 at 5:15 am
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Old Jun 17, 18, 5:29 am
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Originally Posted by GunsOfNavarone View Post
Four flights cancelled in the first six months of the year, not weather related is a sign of an airport having issues.
What were the issues that caused the flight cancellations?
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Old Jun 17, 18, 5:32 am
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ORD will remain at my top to avoid. I did have some delays in CLT, but not as bad as ORD.

OT: as a kid who went to school with on campus Chick-fil-a, I much prefer bojangles at CLT
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Old Jun 17, 18, 5:39 am
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
What were the issues that caused the flight cancellations?
Primarily crew availability issues. If it happened once, maybe twice ok. Four times in last six months brings one to think there might be a bigger issue. At least at DFW, MIA, ORD, LAX one can move to another airline if need be. Just not any feasible options for evening flights at CLT except AA.

My last evening cancellation at CLT was very mean to PAX. AA sent out a text the flight was cancelled. I believe we were at E19. The gate agent said the gate had been changed, to E2. Everyone started quickly moving to E2. I just sat there and called the EXP desk. The GA did not want to deal with PAX having a flight cancelled and no options. Sent them all running..... to a make believe aircraft.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 5:44 am
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Originally Posted by andersonCooper View Post
ORD will remain at my top to avoid. I did have some delays in CLT, but not as bad as ORD.

OT: as a kid who went to school with on campus Chick-fil-a, I much prefer bojangles at CLT
Bojangles can be very, very good! Not sure I want to eat it before getting on a plane, as the grease from the breast (breast and wing guy here) does not clean off my shirt so easily.....
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Old Jun 17, 18, 5:53 am
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Originally Posted by GunsOfNavarone View Post
Bojangles can be very, very good! Not sure I want to eat it before getting on a plane, as the grease from the breast (breast and wing guy here) does not clean off my shirt so easily.....
Breast and wing guy too! Glad I am not the only one who loves bonjangles After 4-years of almost daily lunch at C-F-A and now the C-F-A in NYC is right by my office, I have almost no incentive to go there.

Back to the topic: agree the hotels selections at CLT are usually worse than at ORD. The shearton/fourpoint is on the top of avoid list. Also CLT's lounges for international flights are worst as well, and AA seems to have no plans to add FL in the near future.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 6:05 am
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Originally Posted by andersonCooper View Post
Breast and wing guy too! Glad I am not the only one who loves bonjangles After 4-years of almost daily lunch at C-F-A and now the C-F-A in NYC is right by my office, I have almost no incentive to go there.

Back to the topic: agree the hotels selections at CLT are usually worse than at ORD. The shearton/fourpoint is on the top of avoid list. Also CLT's lounges for international flights are worst as well, and AA seems to have no plans to add FL in the near future.
Just a funny OT note- the late Anthony Bourdain, who regularly dined at some of the finest restaurants across the world, had a craving for Popeye's at ATL

"[O]ne of the funniest things was Tony’s cravings for Popeyes chicken. Every time we flew through Atlanta and had an hour between flights, I would get a look from him. And I was like, 'All right man, we’re going to Popeyes.' It happened every single time, and it didn’t matter what time of day it was. Sometimes the chicken would be gone before we got to the gate."
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Old Jun 17, 18, 7:50 am
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For fast chains... popeyes > bojangles >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> anything else.

As for CLT, I won’t buy a ticket with a connection there. I also avoid PHL, and the northeast in general. Not a fan.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 7:58 am
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Originally Posted by GunsOfNavarone View Post
Primarily crew availability issues.
That's not intrinsically an airport issue: that's crew scheduling (unless it was weather at out-stations that kept crew from getting to CLT, or caused them to time-out). What were the operating carriers? Eventually, that half-vastness will creep into other AA stations unless AA makes a top-down decision to have looser schedules and more reserves. Those things cost money. AA is already 3rd in a 4-man (profit) race.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 8:16 am
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I don't mind CLT - especially being a former US flyer. I've never been stuck there overnight. I have however been stuck overnight at DFW and ORD. My mom who is a 2MM AA flyer (her FF number has all numbers and was issued in 1981) refuses to fly through ORD - absolutely refuses. I was once flying her out from California to watch the kids while I went out of town for a week and we booked her trip via miles. She told me she'd rather fly through MIA (which was an option) than fly through ORD. Thats saying a lot...
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Old Jun 17, 18, 8:40 am
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I try to avoid ORD especially during the summer when these storms pop up and everything stops. I am trying to get a leg on the ORD-DFW 787. I haven't had terrible luck with CLT outside of some maintenance issues on a 737-800.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 8:54 am
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We're you on LAA operated flights? There are no LAA reserves or spares in CLT sometimes they do have operational issues there. This should go away once FOI occurs this fall.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 9:00 am
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I also find that AA books ridiculously tight connections at Clt . that don't do anybody any favors. I am continuously booking the the second connection just to avoid these under 40 minute connections there.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 9:30 am
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I've had worse luck in ORD than CLT for disruptions, although I avoid CLT because the crowded condition during the banks gets on my nerves. That said, I always try to schedule enough connection time to get some Bojangles. Yummy!
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Old Jun 17, 18, 9:35 am
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Originally Posted by GunsOfNavarone View Post
CLT does have a good thing- a Chick-fil-a ...
DFW has them also, as does ATL. (Store #1 is within hollerin' distance from ATL airport).

There used to be a website somewhere with a list of "worst airports to get stuck overnight".

ORD is a great airport. Lots of things to do if you're stuck there. Lots of nearby hotels if it's gonna be a long wait.
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