Why do people dislike CLT so much?

Old Feb 23, 2024, 10:05 am
  #61  
 
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I am based at BNA and connect both D-to-D and D-to-I @ CLT regularly. I can only offer my opinions on this speculative question (and not purport to speak for others) but for me, the "negative issues" with CLT include (1) overcrowded concourses (difficult to pass through the waiting people at multiple departure gates); (2) many of the flight connection offerings on AA.Com have what I would consider short Connection Times for this airport's size and trady arrivals norms - especially given the number of delayed inbound flights that I have experienced; and related to this is the *ridiculous* (IMHO) distances frequently scheduled between my (it may be just me, I know arriving and departing gates - e.g., just walking from E17 to B14 can be a hike and if you are trying to do it in less than 30 minutes be prepared to do some running in those crowded corridors. YMMV,
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Old Feb 23, 2024, 10:18 am
  #62  
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I'm intrigued by the references to slow-moving people in this thread... is there something unique to CLT that slows down one's metabolism compared to other locations? If this is in reference to ageing homo sapiens surely other airports (MIA, FLL come to mind) should rank higher than CLT in this regard.
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Old Feb 23, 2024, 10:20 am
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Far Siren
I'm intrigued by the references to slow-moving people in this thread... is there something unique to CLT that slows down one's metabolism compared to the other airports? If this is in reference to ageing homo sapiens surely other airports (MIA, FLL come to mind) should rank higher than CLT in this regard.
Because the walkways are so narrow at CLT, you have less ways to get around slow moving people than many other airports, which is probably why it's mentioned more. At DFW or MIA, you have room to dodge around them, so you may not think you see them as much.
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Old Feb 23, 2024, 10:40 am
  #64  
 
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CLT isnt bad, it's just nothing special. Been many years since I have been through PHX but I recall it being similar, oddly enough.

Worst AA hubs are (in order) MIA, LAX, ORD

Why can't they just all be like DFW??
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Old Feb 23, 2024, 11:18 am
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Count me in the camp that avoids CLT. I frankly thinks it's worse (for connections at least*) than any other AA hub in terms of comfort since the old LGA got demo'd.
I know lots of airports have cramped gate areas. But the entirety of AAs gates at CLT are crowded and cramped. The walkways are stuffed full, the seats are full, the AC is full, the bathrooms are full, the food joints and lines are slow, and it's loud and hard to get around quicly and hard to relax for a minute. CLT at its best is worse than DFW at its worse in terms of cramped crowded terminals.

(*And if we considered O/D hubs, I might make room for MIA as being the worse, on account of their very, very slow baggage waits and very commonly long distances from check-in to maybe an AC to your likely gate. I've never O/D flown to/from CLT though so can't really compare)
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Last edited by MarkOK; Feb 23, 2024 at 11:25 am
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Old Feb 23, 2024, 11:21 am
  #66  
 
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Originally Posted by Far Siren
I'm intrigued by the references to slow-moving people in this thread... is there something unique to CLT that slows down one's metabolism compared to other locations? If this is in reference to ageing homo sapiens surely other airports (MIA, FLL come to mind) should rank higher than CLT in this regard.
Might be cultural, since we are talking of a southern car-centric city where the airport is the most activity a lot of people might be getting that year. I get it, I don't live in a spot that gets me walking briskly very often either.
Back when I flew United a lot more, I gave Houston Bush the same criticism. At DFW, there might be slow people but there is always room to walk around.
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Old Feb 23, 2024, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by lrdpenn
There is no where to sit.
The walk between gates can be really far and you have to dodge human-sized snails in tight corridors. Time-wise it's not longer than DFW but DFW is just way more pleasant to get around.
The gate agents appear to be worse and surlier than average, and that's saying something.
The air circulation feels particularly poor.

I actually liked CLT, shortly after the merger, even preferred connecting there vs DFW due it is compact nature. Its been far overextended with no resolution in sight. Now I won't even consider a connection through there.
Exactly this.

It's an airport that's carrying on volumes beyond the size its capable of managing smoothly. You'll get pockets where its fine and equally pockets where its supremely awful.

I'd also add to the OP, while crowded lounges may be insignificant to you, the ability to access lounges unfettered is significant to some of us.
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Old Feb 23, 2024, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by M60_to_LGA
As a native Chicagoan, I have to say I've always found ORD to be a very easy airport to deal with, especially T3. Of course I've almost only used it for O&D. I hear all these complaints about connecting there, but I've never really understood them. For AA, it's far less hassle to connect in T3 than taking the train at DFW, isn't it?
I agree that ORD isn't too bad to connect (domestically), but it can be a hike if you need to get from one concourse to another and the terminal does feel a bit crowded at times.

But the train at DFW is so efficient and the stations are well spaced that I can't imagine thinking it a hassle in anyway. Of course, that may be because I am quite familiar with the system and know instinctively whether to turn left or right when getting off of it. Have seen (and helped direct) plenty of confused people.
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Old Feb 23, 2024, 11:41 am
  #69  
 
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Originally Posted by DataPlumber
Plus it reminds me of US, which sucked. It's the same for DL at MSP.
I think this is the actual answer that people don't consciously realize. The other US Airways hubs (PHX, PHL, technically DCA) aren't as reminiscent of US Airways, for whatever reason. CLT has a distinctly US Air je ne sais quoi.
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Old Feb 23, 2024, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by vasantn
It's the same with MIA, LHR, and CDG. There are some airports that are just natural targets for whining.
Except MIA and LHR (a 4th world Airport) defy description. CDG? "After all, it's the French!", will probably cover just about anything. OBTW-CDG is my other "home" airport, with DFW as my other.
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Old Feb 23, 2024, 12:08 pm
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CLT was designed for much smaller aircraft than what is currently used now. During peak banks - many more people are transiting than before which leads to cramped gates, lounges and walkways. It's hard to make the gate area bigger. New lounges would be a plus.

Internationally the 767-200 operated a number of flights alongside the A332 and 333s. Today's 777s and 787s carry a lot more people.
Some of the gates in B/C were used for RJs - which now mostly use an ever expanding E terminal.
The RJs got bigger - with the 37 seat Dash 8s and 50 seat ERJ/CRJ being replaced by 76 seat CR9s/E175s
Mainline planes got bigger and denser. In the past, US Airways used the A319 for Transcon Range and the A320 was the primary workhorse. The miracle on the hudson was an A320 flying from LGA-CLT. The A321 initially had significant range limits.
Then the A321s got much more range and could do transcons reliably and all the new Airbus deliveries focused on A321s. The oldest A320s were retired, alongside the 737 classics.

Looking back and comparing today to 15-20 years ago, every plane at every gate probably has 30+ more seats, where do all these new people go? That's the crowding you see now.
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Old Feb 23, 2024, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Stripe
It feels like it is over capacity in almost every respect. Lounges are always crowded, the concourses are always crowded and very tough to move quickly through, you will usually encounter at least one non-moving travelator, there can be some very long taxis, and you often have to wait for a gate to free up. The C lounge is perpetually in some state of dysfunction (currently it's the temporary bar and grab and go food only). If you come in or go out of an E gate you're guaranteed a long walk. And there are no premium facilities for international travelers (Flagship Lounge, showers, etc).
CLT lounges/gate areas and concourses were built and sized for different era of commercial air service in the 1980s for Piedmont's hub there, with planes 2/3 the capacity of what AA flies into CLT now.
The temporary grab and go food at the C/D club is better than what they usually have out, i would be fine if they kept it as is, and just finished the construction.
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Old Feb 23, 2024, 12:25 pm
  #73  
 
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Had my first CLT experience just two weeks ago. I-D connection on a Saturday evening with baggage. As others have noted spouse and I breezed through GE but then stuck around with everyone else waiting for bags. But once we had them it was re-check, TSA Pre-check, and straight to the under renovation Admirals Club where it was full but not at all noisy and we still found a two-top to ourselves and had 45 minutes to have a filling if unmemorable grab-and-go sandwich with some trail mix and a glass of wine and having nothing but positive interactions with staff throughout the club and airport. Like, a 10/10 connecting experience. Maybe it was beginner's luck?
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Old Feb 23, 2024, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by halls120
I avoid CLT as aggressively as I avoid EWR and MIA when travelling internationally.
I rather like transiting through MIA. Have done quite a few I-D transits the last couple of months, and none have been that bad. GE line is super fast, the pre-check for all transit security lines have always been fast, and it has the best FL in the AA system. Yes it sucks that the train isnt running, but that should be ameliorated by next month.
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Old Feb 23, 2024, 12:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Hoi polloi
What?! Aside from the long-ish hikes that can sometimes be involved, what is there to hate? Granted, I only travelled through the old LGA a few times, but I absolutely love the new LGA (heading there today, as a matter of fact). And, in my opinion, the Admiral's Club there is one of the best in the system.

As for CLT, I kind of agree. I've insulted its integrity from time to time, but as I think about it, I've encountered nothing at CLT that I haven't encountered at many other airports. So perhaps my ire was misdirected.
IMHO, LGA B is a *great* terminal to leave from but a horrible terminal to arrive into. The walk from the gates to the parking garage is sooo long, and Uber wait times are always long, even if you time ordering it perfectly (usually right before leave the sterile airside zone ime)
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