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Why do people dislike CLT so much? (issues, complaints, gripes)

Why do people dislike CLT so much? (issues, complaints, gripes)

Old Feb 24, 2024, 12:37 pm
  #106  
 
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Originally Posted by WannaTheater
I would personally take CLT over PHL any day of the week.
I have no desire to be in either airport - PHL is a dump but CLT is beyond crowded. The latter is worse in my eyes as I'm only connecting in CLT these days where PHL is O/D. Maybe AA will cough up some money to make these airports better...wishful thinking I guess.
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 12:43 pm
  #107  
 
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Originally Posted by scubadu
I really can't fathom how you arrived at these conclusions. The internet and FT have had countless, posts, threads, articles, pictures, etc. regarding the state of Amex Cent lounges. They have literally been heaving with capacity issues/lines for years and yes, there are frequently waits to get into the Cent Lounges depending on time of day. Yes, holding the actual Centurion Card will likely get you in immediately (they reserve some tables/seating for Cent card holders), but with a Platinum Card, nope. We've been in the DFW CL where people were literally sitting on the floor (we turned around and walked out).

Think about this logically; you have a physical room that only holds so many people. How could they provide "no-questions-asked immediate access" to a space if it's full to capacity?

All of this obviously depends greatly on your travel patterns, but we have definitely had waits to get into Amex CL in CLT (and every other one, though we rarely even use them anymore)

Regards
I agree 100%. The AMEX CL has become a joke. Not to mention at CLT, depending on your connecting gate, is out of the way imo. Breakfast is decent but outside the salad and some soup dishes, meal offerings are terrible.

As for CLT, I try my best to avoid it. Not a fan....overcrowded, dated terminal, not a premium experience. Much like Phoenix and Philadelphia, although Philly isn't as crowded as CLT and PHX.
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 3:50 pm
  #108  
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Originally Posted by wrp96
The E Gates, and connecting to or from them from anywhere else in the airport. (MIA D60 is also on my really dislike list).
Yeah, based out of ATL, CLT is often offered as a connection point — I try for DCA or LGA — and I actively avoid it for a number of reasons but this probably the biggest. The E terminal is embarrasingly bad, worn out, and dirty.

PHL is also a dump but at least there's a shuttle between the F terminal and the others.
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 4:15 pm
  #109  
 
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A related problem is that AA often books turn times (from when plane arrives at gate X to when plane departs from gate X to a new destination) at 30-35 minutes. For a regional jet, that may be feasible as fewer rows to "clean" but hard to disembark, clean, and board a 737/Airbus 319 in that time period. Also, when a plane is a few minutes late, yet has a quick turn around, that has a cascading effect on the remaining flights on that day. Extra busy airports like CLT suffer the worst from this.
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 9:41 pm
  #110  
 
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As many have already pointed out: AA regularly schedules 35min connections through CLT and inevitably it is going to be between mainline and Eagle, so you often have to schlepp between the far end of B gates and the far end of E gates. Granted often AA pads their flights well enough that the 35min connections turn into something around an hour (extremely well in the case of the mainline RDU-CLT shuttle), but I have done plenty of these tight connections to know to wear comfortable shoes when connecting through CLT.

I disagree with people who are saying that slow walkers are a problem at every airport. Narrow corridors and broken travelators make it so much easier for a family of four to block everyone trying to get to their connection. Maybe you have the same issue in MIA (never been) or PHX (only been aeons ago) and maybe PHL (much wider concourses compared to CLT—better placed "expressway" travelators too), but you do not have this level of inefficient walking at JFK/LGA/DCA/ORD. I think this might just be a primarily connecting airport vs O/D and business travel airports thing.

Also—CLT is so prone to southeast summer thunderstorm meltdowns. Delays, cancellations, misconnects, all in an overcrowded airport filled with mostly inexperienced leisure travelers? Recipe for chaos.
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Old Feb 25, 2024, 8:32 am
  #111  
 
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I've somehow never connected at CLT - but we have our first one (flight to Europe) next week and now this thread has me nervous! We have a 70-minute connection and are sitting up front so I guess I won't lose too much sleep over it.
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Old Feb 25, 2024, 9:35 am
  #112  
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Originally Posted by ehallison
I've somehow never connected at CLT - but we have our first one (flight to Europe) next week and now this thread has me nervous! We have a 70-minute connection and are sitting up front so I guess I won't lose too much sleep over it.
Ignore this thread. That’s a connection you’ll make 99% of the time.
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Old Feb 25, 2024, 12:33 pm
  #113  
 
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Years ago I flew CAE-BWI regularly. I loathed having to sprint from E to B/C to make a tight connection. After a few missed ones I started driving to CLT or flying to DCA to avoid the connection hassles. Did enjoy flying the Dash 8s on that short flight though.
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Old Feb 25, 2024, 2:15 pm
  #114  
 
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35 minute layovers, and it's crowded. It's also inconvenient for trips to the west coast. AA, in their infinite wisdom, would rather I book STL-CLT-SAN with the 35 minute/3 hour connection, or have me pay $300 or more to travel through any mid-continent hub. Of all the airports to choose a longer layover, CLT is the worst. I have Admiral's Club membership for that reason; I prefer long layovers to misconnects and being rebooked in a middle seat in E on the next flight. Domestic F may not be anything special, but my balky knees sure appreciate the extra room.

Oh, and A319s to the Caribbean with their limited F and packed seating.
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Last edited by iplaybass; Feb 28, 2024 at 8:59 am Reason: Added another reason
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Old Feb 25, 2024, 2:48 pm
  #115  
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The main issue for CLT is simply the terminal is not designed for the volume of passengers and aircraft (think taxiways and the apron area especially into the interior B/C gates) that the airport handles. The airport has good concessions, clean and updated facilities, and in general is an atheistically pleasant airport (unlike PHL).

Its very costly to physically expand the terminals and add capabilities for two way aircraft traffic into the apron area. CLT's differentiator is $$$ and making these kind of investments that will cost billions of dollars goes against the Modus Operandi of being a low cost hub.

Now the 35 minute connections and the lousy admiral clubs are AA's doing not the airport however this does impact the passenger experience when you have thousands of people frantically running between the arriving/departing banks.

I wish AA would move CLT to a rolling hub model to spread the load. This way it will create a more pleasant connecting experience without needing to pour in $$$ to physically expand the existing terminals.
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Old Feb 25, 2024, 2:59 pm
  #116  
 
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Originally Posted by born sleepy
PHL is also a dump but at least there's a shuttle between the F terminal and the others.
A-West is decent. F is OK. The rest of PHL is too crowded and/or run down.
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Old Feb 25, 2024, 3:19 pm
  #117  
 
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Originally Posted by golfingboy
Its very costly to physically expand the terminals and add capabilities for two way aircraft traffic into the apron area. CLT's differentiator is $$$ and making these kind of investments that will cost billions of dollars goes against the Modus Operandi of being a low cost hub.
I mean, they're literally in the middle of a several billion dollar expansion and overhaul including runway, taxi and ramp area, terminal...
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Old Feb 25, 2024, 4:12 pm
  #118  
 
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I tend to avoid CLT as much as possible. In the last week I had to connect through CLT and through ORD and can confirm ORD suffers from past reputation.

I used to avoid ORD but my last dozen connections through there have been great. Biggest issue is weather related delays, and when all carriers are overloading schedules creating a traffic mess.

But CLT I feel is mostly under AA control to improve the experience.

The lounges are not just small but dirty, loud, and of course crowded. The walkways are narrow, with tons of slow walkers (agree on the thesis of infrequent flyers). The food options are nothing special with lots of wasted space in souvenir type shops (top of c terminal across from chick Fila a). Connection times are way too tight and the constant gate change makes it difficult to plan against. Bathrooms are in rough shape and over crowded. It also feels dark and dirty. Not far from how PHL feels.

At this time I think dca is the better east hub. ORD or DFW are a wash. I think phx sucks now and it's barely a hub nowadays with limited options.
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Old Feb 25, 2024, 5:14 pm
  #119  
 
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Originally Posted by golfingboy
in general is an atheistically pleasant airport (unlike PHL).
If CLT is atheistically pleasing, is PHL better suited to Quakers and other God-fearing folk?

One would think that Billy Graham‘s home airport would be anything but atheistically pleasing!
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Old Feb 25, 2024, 5:35 pm
  #120  
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Originally Posted by jerseytom
I mean, they're literally in the middle of a several billion dollar expansion and overhaul including runway, taxi and ramp area, terminal...
True but those are most likely justified through additional revenue to cover the cost whereas enlarging terminals B/C (which is desperately needed) wouldn't result in additional revenue (same # of gates, same # of passengers, etc.) thereby driving up per unit costs making such investment much harder to justify. AA made it hard for DFW to finally complete the TRIP renovations on C concourse at DFW for similar reasons.

Originally Posted by ConradMZ
If CLT is atheistically pleasing, is PHL better suited to Quakers and other God-fearing folk?

One would think that Billy Graham‘s home airport would be anything but atheistically pleasing!
Lol - CLT did a lipstick on pig project recently updating bathrooms, signage, gate areas, among other things in B/C, so giving them some credit for that. Not as decrepit as terminals H/K in ORD, PHL, IAD C/D, LHR T3, among others. Nowhere near as nice as LGA, LAX TBIT, DTW, ICN, SIN, etc. My expectations for large hub airports in the US or Europe aren't that high. Nonetheless, the lipstick project at CLT did not address the real issue - terminal is just too small. You can make it as bright and nice but when its more crowded than an ant farm the experience will not be as good.
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