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Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

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14 minutes ago, CharlotteWkndBuzz said:

Does anyone remember the time frame for CLT's Centurion lounge opening up?  AMEX recently announced some changes to their protocol which only allows access to the lounge for departing guests (excludes connections).  Basically, if you just flew into SFO, Seattle, etc, you won't be able to access the lounge.  Not really a big deal, because I usually just want to get out of the airport once I'm at my destination, but one example that may mess with are those flying into Vegas and want to stop by the lounge for drinks before heading out.  A few other restrictions were placed 3hr limit, 2 guests period...guess there is a problem of overcrowding in these lounges.  I'm happy CLT is getting one though....looks like it will be one of the largest Centurion's in the system.

Interesting and disappointing restrictions.  I wonder how well they will be enforced though.  Example I am thinking of from personal use is.  I have flown CLT to DFW.  Meet co-workers in the AMEX lounge their.  Prepared for the meeting in the lounge  then leave airport to go to said customer meeting before returning to fly home to CLT.  This is common for us whether be AMEX lounge or not.  Hope AMEX does not make this behavior an issue for us.

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20 minutes ago, CLT2014 said:

^ It won't open until 2020

I'd expect most people won't be impacted by the lounge policy changes. People have a lot of free time if they decide to get to the airport more than 3 hours before their flight or want to hang out in an airport lounge after arriving at their final destination. This is most likely designed to discourage the guy in jeans shorts and flip flops, with six plates of food, and five drinks who is "really into free stuff" and keeps talking about "how incredible this lounge is" from hanging out at the lounge all day to fulfill their gluttony. 

That's exactly what the restrictions are for. Also b/c some of the older lounges are so small, its a reasonable restriction.

With a larger footprint, it may not be an issue in CLT.  Shouldn't affect most users.

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44 minutes ago, navigator319 said:

Interesting and disappointing restrictions.  I wonder how well they will be enforced though.  Example I am thinking of from personal use is.  I have flown CLT to DFW.  Meet co-workers in the AMEX lounge their.  Prepared for the meeting in the lounge  then leave airport to go to said customer meeting before returning to fly home to CLT.  This is common for us whether be AMEX lounge or not.  Hope AMEX does not make this behavior an issue for us.

Based on the new rules, effective March 22 you would not be allowed in the DFW Centurion Lounge upon arrival from CLT to prepare for a meeting. You must show a boarding pass upon entrance beginning March 22 and your flight must:
A: Depart within 3 hours
B: If more than 3 hours, show you are connecting flights and have a long layover

Full Details: https://thecenturionlounge.com/info/access

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2 hours ago, Miesian Corners said:

This kinda blows. Having a place to shower and change after arriving on a red-eye or a trans-oceanic flight can make all the difference in the world. 

Passengers arriving on international flights can use it if they are connecting. If they have arrived at their final destination when they first enter the USA, they cannot access a Centurion lounge anyhow as customs dumps a passenger in baggage claim and they wouldn't have a boarding pass to go back through TSA screening to use the lounge.

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31 minutes ago, CltFlyer said:

Looks like the A330-300's are here to stay through at least 2021.  I suppose this invalidates the rumor that all LHR flights will be on 777's beginning in 2020.

https://americanairlines.gcs-web.com/static-files/6cf75bca-48cf-4f97-b2a0-43dccd513147

That has to be a recent decision then, they were meant to go by the end of next year and that was the plan until today.

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10 minutes ago, CLT704 said:

That has to be a recent decision then, they were meant to go by the end of next year and that was the plan until today.

Our "State of the Airline" was this morning.  Details later...

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AMEX essentially has to deal with a two-edged sword. On the one end, members have been complaining that the Centurion Lounges are packed and over capacity, so in a way they are implementing some of these policies to alleviate some of their members concerns. I was at the Centurion Lounge two weeks ago in SEA and it was bursting at the seams to the point where I didn't even want to hang around there. 

 On the other end, if they devalue the card too much in terms of Centurion Lounge access, members are going to have a hard time justifying the annual fee. 

Personally, the changes aren't that big of a deal to me. I rarely connect, and if I know, I prefer to keep the connection under 3 hours. Likewise, I rarely hang around the airport once I arrive at my destination. The only lounge I have used after arrival in the US is the Turkish Lounge at IAD (through Priority Pass) and the Centurion Lounge at LGA which is in the public area of the airport while waiting for friends to pick me up. It isn't that big of a deal. I'm sure staff at the lounge would bend the rules if your flight turned out to be delayed or something along those lines. 

My two personal gripes at the Centurion Lounges are how at every Centurion I have visited (SFO/LGA/SEA/DFW) there are excess amounts of tables and chairs reserved for Centurion cardholders that are continuously empty. I'm all for reserving tables for your best clients but during peak periods when the tables clearly aren't being used I see no reason why general Platinum members cannot use them. My other gripe (not the fault of Amex) is that I have encountered the rudest, nastiest, DYKWIA-type people (members) in the lounge that make me think the world is a vomit-soaked dump and there is absolutely no hope for humanity's future. 

I'm a bit disappointed that the lounge won't have a more central location to A, though I supposed that wasn't possible given the layout of CLT. I'm willing to guess that Amex isn't going after CLT local-travelers (who are more likely to fly out of A) but rather AA connecting pax. 

 

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39 minutes ago, CLT704 said:

1511074484_Screenshot2019-01-24at18_43_54.thumb.png.996137b047056e153e189a6bbb7a481f.png

THIRD DAILY LONDON Y'ALL!

Hopefully this will be in addition to his CLT-MAD year round rumor the other day.  Worst case it could be one or the other.  I suppose it would be 3x daily AA?

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Were these part of the $75 million transaction back in 2017? IIRC, stipulations from the purchase state that SAS can use the slots until 2020.

I'm guessing that AA will operate the flight, though I'm unsure if the A330 fleet has enough slack to operate a new TATL. I feel that it would have to be a 777/787 or a BA-operated flight. BA is getting A350s this year.

Edit: The first SAS slot went to AA operating PHX-LHR with their own metal on a 772, so I guess look for the third CLT-LHR flight be an AA 772.

Edited by LKN704

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55 minutes ago, LKN704 said:

Were these part of the $75 million transaction back in 2017? IIRC, stipulations from the purchase state that SAS can use the slots until 2020.

I'm guessing that AA will operate the flight, though I'm unsure if the A330 fleet has enough slack to operate a new TATL. I feel that it would have to be a 777/787 or a BA-operated flight. BA is getting A350s this year.

Edit: The first SAS slot went to AA operating PHX-LHR with their own metal on a 772, so I guess look for the third CLT-LHR flight be an AA 772.

This coming Summer.  TA usage for the A332 is 12/15  and usage for the A333 is 7/9.  Not taking into account A332's on domestic flights PHL-LAX/SFO.   There should be enough slack with either for a 3rd CLT-LHR.

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3 hours ago, CltFlyer said:

This coming Summer.  TA usage for the A332 is 12/15  and usage for the A333 is 7/9.  Not taking into account A332's on domestic flights PHL-LAX/SFO.   There should be enough slack with either for a 3rd CLT-LHR.

I had no idea that there was so much slack in the fleet.

The A333s are looking a little rusty on the inside IMO. It's funny because when they were introduced in 2000 (back when US had 3 classes of service on them: F/J/Y) they were such a fantastic product. Y had 34 inch seats with adjustable headrests and adjustable lumbar support, and the Sony Passport system installed was the first AVOD system installed in the US, IIRC. 

The Y product is especially bad IMO. No adjustable headrests and the IFE is slow, buggy, and the touchscreens aren't responsive. The only thing they have going for them is the configuration.

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2 hours ago, xapostrophe said:

Any word on Lufthansa changing their equipment in Charlotte? Thought I read somewhere the 330 would be replaced by the 350?

The A330 will go to an  A350 beginning on March 31st, 2019 when they transfer the last of the A330s out of Munich.  It was also announced with the announcement of the Centurion lounge that Lufthansa signed a 5 year contract for Ramp and Office space.  So  that's good news as well.

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8 hours ago, CltFlyer said:

The A330 will go to an  A350 beginning on March 31st, 2019 when they transfer the last of the A330s out of Munich.  It was also announced with the announcement of the Centurion lounge that Lufthansa signed a 5 year contract for Ramp and Office space.  So  that's good news as well.

It'll be nice to see something other than the 330s in Charlotte

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I'm really excited to see the development of the potential 3rd LHR flight from CLT.  Something that I've been predicting myself that could happen at some point in the future. Its really impressive thinking that we might have 3 flights a day to London... crazy to me!!  I wonder if this opens up the door for BA to finally make an entrance back to the Charlotte market? Regardless of who serves it, very impressive for Charlotte if this comes to fruition. That would be 11 flights a day to Europe including Lufthansa!!

Lastly, really hope we see year round CLT-MAD. Long over due in my opinion. 

Does anyone know what our O/D numbers are to LHR/FRA or MUC? I read some where way back FRA was our largest O/D Euro city....maybe 75 some people a day. Again, that was a while ago so that number might not be right.  Was just curious if anyone on here was sophisticated enough to find that data because I sure can't lol. 

Edited by JetBlueCLT
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Looking at a Brookings report from 2011, I believe CLT-LGW was 165 PDEW, CLT-FRA was roughly 87 PDEW, CLT-MUC was roughly 60 PDEW.

Given that the data is roughly 8 years old, I wouldn't be surprised to see each of the numbers rise, especially LHR, which was probably stimulated by the switchover from LGW to LHR and the addition of the second daily flight. 

At the time of that report, RDU-LHR was the largest O/D market to Europe ex North Carolina, with around 175 PDEW.

Edited by LKN704
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Can anyone tell me of the comfort level of flying Trans-Atlantic on the A330-300’s?  Just found out the airline is flying A330-300’s but don’t think I ever been on one.  

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7 minutes ago, Hushpuppy321 said:

Can anyone tell me of the comfort level of flying Trans-Atlantic on the A330-300’s?  Just found out the airline is flying A330-300’s but don’t think I ever been on one.  

I flew the American Airlines 1030pm Sunday  Heathrow flight in September, it was an A330-300.  My wife and I sat with a window and aisle seat and found it to be comfortable (the A330 has rows of 2-4-2).  I'm relatively tall (6'2") and felt my knees were not constricted as bad as some other airplanes I fly on.  My only complaint from that flight is that there are entertainment monitors on the back of the headrests, which the lady behind me was aggressively playing. Fortunately, when I turned my light off to sleep, she stopped playing. 

Hope this helps.

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19 minutes ago, Hushpuppy321 said:

Can anyone tell me of the comfort level of flying Trans-Atlantic on the A330-300’s?  Just found out the airline is flying A330-300’s but don’t think I ever been on one.  

Six of the eight seats in a row are NOT a middle seat, which is awesome. I like to get the aisle seats on the window side of the aisles. These are ideal when traveling with one other person or even if your seat mate is a stranger. By having only one seat mate, you are disturbed less frequently for bathroom breaks and feel less cramped.

There is seat back entertainment, but it is not as new as some other planes. The touchscreen isn't as responsive as newer systems. A/C power in economy is shared.

Overall it is a comfortable plane. Not as new as some aircraft, but the layout is comfortable.

Edited by CLT2014

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I've flown the 767-300, 777-200, and 787-900 trans-oceanic and think the 330-300 is the best of the bunch.  Try and get an exit aisle!

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Thanks for the heads up you guys.  I will adhere to all of your suggestions.  I just wish AA flying out of CLT was more affordable.  I’m flying out from JFK to save money.

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My only gripe with them is that they lack adjustable headrests in Y, the IFE screens are slow, unresponsive, and buggy, and they lack proper power outlets. Each seat has a USB port in the armrest, but in my experience, the outlet usually never works or is slow to charge. 

I honestly don't like leather seats in Y on long haul flights. I find cloth seating to be much more comfortable. Unfortunately the US3 have some sort of leather fetish and ripped off their cloth covers in Y. It's funny, 20 years ago, leather (and faux-leather) seating was reserved for F/J cabins as it was seen as more luxurious. Now, everything has reversed and AA/UA's newest international premium cabin seating is cloth. 

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