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Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion


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53 minutes ago, #1Son said:

@LKN704 does Lufthansa fly to CLT from an airport that is pre-cleared by US customs?  My last two flights from Europe flew through Dublin and Toronto.  Both flights had US Customs Agents clear the flight before it left from Ireland and Canada respectively then land at a domestic terminal.  This was a surprise especially from Dublin, but the flight actually landed at the JFK Jetblue terminal and connected as if it was a domestic flight.  Maybe Lufthansa will use this process and start landing at A-North.     

There is no pre-clearance from Germany. Only 16 airports worldwide have it: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/preclearance

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I was up taking pictures at the hourly deck, which has a great vantage point of the terminal expansion!  

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

From today. The crown sign and testing the lights on the signage this evening. 

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1 hour ago, CLT2014 said:

There is no pre-clearance from Germany. Only 16 airports worldwide have it: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/preclearance

Canada and the Caribbean make sense.  I would not think Ireland would have pre-clearance, but it was really nice not having to clear customs at JFK.  The wait to clear customs in Ireland was 20 to 30 minutes tops.  I can't remember waiting less than an hour at JFK especially when 4 or 5 planes land in the same bank.   

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11 hours ago, LKN704 said:

 

Flying out of a pre-clearance airport means you have to be at the airport much earlier than you would need to be if you just cleared customs in the US. With Global Entry, I have never waited more than 15 minutes in peak periods at CLT/JFK/SFO/LAX/IAD, but I have waited over an hour at Toronto and Vancouver, as most Canadians have Nexus, which allows them to use Global Entry. 

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Never done pre clearance but same story with Global Entry. Don't think I have ever had a burdensome time clearing customs anywhere in the US with GE and even my wife who does not have it waited maybe 20 minutes max to clear at JFK the last time we traveled internationally.

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Sounds like Global Entry is the way to travel.  I am not a frequent international traveler as I fly out of the country once a year, but I haven't been lucky flying back through JFK.  I landed at 1:30 pm and didn't clear customs until after 3 pm twice at JFK.  When I was on a pre-clearance flight from Dublin it allowed me to land at the JFK Jetblue terminal and walk right to baggage claim.  The time to clear customs in Dublin was 20 to 30 minutes and based on the past experiences I thought it was pretty convenient.  Maybe I just need a better travel agent :).  @LKN704 I don't recall having to go through security twice in Dublin, but I was connecting in the airport.  I clearly remember going through the Canadian TSA check point then immediately going through US TSA checkpoint in Toronto even though I was connecting to O'Hare.  I thought it was in response to covid-19, but it took over an hour to pre-clear customs in Toronto.  Maybe that is just the normal wait time in Canada.      

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On 6/14/2021 at 5:35 PM, QClifer said:

Does anybody know what is going on and has been going on when you get off billy Graham onto the airport road on the right side?  They cleared a bunch of trees and looked like they were putting in new storm water pipes. Maybe it has to do with the office park right there not sure.  Are they redoing the exit ramp from billy graham onto airport road? 

I believe you are referring to the Upper Taggart Wastewater Project. There are details and a map here. I only knew to look under that name because I found the Taggart Creek Sewer Outfall Project a few years back. That project went further alongside Billy Graham. A full list of CLT projects is here.

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Outside of Philadelphia and San Diego, I believe Charlotte is the last US city to see Lufthansa resume service. I'm not sure if that's for performance reasons, or because Charlotte is the only US city where Lufthansa solely serves Munich. Lufthansa does have a competitive advantage I suppose in Charlotte as its the only European network carrier serving CLT and it's so much easier making a connection in Munich over AA/BA in Heathrow because Munich has no terminal bus transfers, no silly flight connections center you are forced to go through, and no need to clear security when transiting directly from the US to a Schengen destination (you just go through passport control). One time I flew CLT-MUC-GVA and the CLT-MUC flight was extremely delayed, but I was able to make the connecting flight in 20 minutes time. Granted my bag didn't make it with me, but I would have never made the flight if the same thing happened at Heathrow. 

In my experience, the flight usually carries a large portion of VFR (visiting friends/relatives) traffic traveling to the Indian subcontinent and to SE Asia...a couple of years back probably 25% of the Economy cabin was connecting to the Singapore Air flight in Munich.

Given AA's continuous pushback of MUC/FRA service ex CLT, combined with their extremely weak position in Germany from a sales/marketing standpoint (IIRC they basically handed their Germany sales/marketing team to BA a couple of years ago), I wonder what the future for AA is not just on CLT-Germany, but in Germany overall. Germany is the largest European market from CLT, so I am not saying they will walk away from it, but I have a gut feeling they will end up not resuming CLT-MUC. It would be a great candidate for the A321XLR. With that said, I wonder if there is an impetus from Lufthansa to start CLT-FRA. 

19 hours ago, KJHburg said:

our post pandemic flight back to Europe.

Technically, AA resumed CLT-LHR this past Winter, but that depends if you are counting LHR as part of Europe I guess!

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34 minutes ago, LKN704 said:

 

Technically, AA resumed CLT-LHR this past Winter, but that depends if you are counting LHR as part of Europe I guess!

I did forget about that I guess I am talking  about to continental Europe LOL but of course the London Heathrow flight is very important. 

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New airport parking rates / price increases effective July 6:

Curbside valet -> unchanged at $35
Hourly deck daily max: $20 to $24
Express deck: $14 to $16
Daily Deck: $10 to $12
Long Term: $7 to $10

Edited by CLT2014
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10 hours ago, LKN704 said:

With all due respect, the title doesn't reference specifically airport construction. Expansion could reference new routes, etc. 

There isn't that much discussion on actual infrastructure expansion as the airport (well really the city government) puts out little to no images of construction, and they don't really continuously update the construction page on they website as frequently as they could. Honestly, they haven't even released a full public rendering of what the build out of the E Concourse will look like other than this one image. 

They are also mum on the Concourse A Phase II expansion plans. It very well looks like construction has started based on the overall construction traffic in the area, yet the airport website says that the project is in the design phase, but frankly I think it's well past the design phase at this point. The reasoning for Phase II costing millions more hasn't been explained (for a new terminal head house containing check-in/baggage claim for non-AA carriers?) either. 

There aren't that many updates or images for the Terminal Lobby expansion I would imagine due to a significant portion of construction at this point involves things behind the scenes such as constructing/moving utilities, etc. 

As I have said before, one can park on the hourly deck for one hour for free and get a good view of what's going on at the Terminal Lobby project. One can also go to the overlook at look at the mess they seem to be making of the dirt by Concourse A. 

Or drive by the new control tower and see the enormous project south of it where they're building the cross taxiway and deice pad.   

 

Looks like they're grading between the west parallel runways, maybe in advance of the new runway.

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CNBC.com has a story today about the difficulty airports are having staffing up restaurants and cafes, like other service businesses these days. Offering bonuses and higher pay than before.

The headline photo is from CLT. And one of the photos with the story is a shuttered Starbucks, which we also saw going through CLT around 4pm the other day. 

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3 hours ago, LKN704 said:

Allegiant is starting Concord-Melbourne/Orlando, putting the number of destinations served from Concord at 9 (including New Orleans, Orlando/Sanford, Ft Lauderdale, W Palm, Sarasota, Punta Gorda, Destin, St. Pete). 

I've flown the US/AA flight to Melbourne a couple of times to visit family on the Treasure Coast near Stuart. They actually live only 45 minutes north of West Palm, but AA often has good deals to Melbourne and the drive is only 45 minutes longer. I found Melbourne to be a depressing city frankly and the airport is relatively spartan. I remember they have this gnarly tropical carpet throughout the airport straight out of the 1980s. 

I'd like to see an Allegiant flight to Austin, Phoenix/Mesa, or Las Vegas from Concord. 

Though oft forgotten about on this message board.  I would argue that Allegiant is the second most important airline to the Charlotte area's domestic airline landscape.  Their catchment area is larger than given credit for.  I know of several people from my small town (roughly an hour to an hour and a half north of Charlotte who use them as their preferred airline to Florida vacation destinations.  They also have a sizeable operation at my home airport of LEX (Lexington, KY) and are the only non- AA carrier from HTS (Huntington, WV).  Several of my friends/co-workers who are not loyal to a given airline prefer to use them as the cheaper (and direct option) as opposed to legacy.  Allegiant seems to do an excellent job as promoting themselves as an (you pay for what you get) airline and people are fine with that.  Similar airlines such as Spirit and Frontier have become butt of jokes, but Allegiant largely doesn't have that stigma from what've seen/heard. 

Any of the above adds would do well.  (I'm a bit surprised we don't have Las Vegas yet).  I wonder if both Allegiant and Frontier could survive on Charlotte-Las Vegas.  I don't see why not, but Charlotte is a weird market.  

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7 hours ago, CltFlyer said:

Though oft forgotten about on this message board.  I would argue that Allegiant is the second most important airline to the Charlotte area's domestic airline landscape.  Their catchment area is larger than given credit for.  I know of several people from my small town (roughly an hour to an hour and a half north of Charlotte who use them as their preferred airline to Florida vacation destinations.  They also have a sizeable operation at my home airport of LEX (Lexington, KY) and are the only non- AA carrier from HTS (Huntington, WV).  Several of my friends/co-workers who are not loyal to a given airline prefer to use them as the cheaper (and direct option) as opposed to legacy.  Allegiant seems to do an excellent job as promoting themselves as an (you pay for what you get) airline and people are fine with that.  Similar airlines such as Spirit and Frontier have become butt of jokes, but Allegiant largely doesn't have that stigma from what've seen/heard. 

Any of the above adds would do well.  (I'm a bit surprised we don't have Las Vegas yet).  I wonder if both Allegiant and Frontier could survive on Charlotte-Las Vegas.  I don't see why not, but Charlotte is a weird market.  

My issue with Allegiant more so than Frontier/Sprit is that because Allegiant usually flies from smaller airports where they are the sole airline, and because they often don't fly every route daily (some are daily, some a thrice weekly, etc), you are screwed on your vacation if the flight were to cancel. 

I flew Allegiant once from Concord. It was fine, but I am not in a rush to fly them again. The airport terminal (that I thought they just built?) was essentially just a warehouse with no other amenities whatsoever. Between my flight to West Palm and all the other departures, the place was a zoo.

I know Allegiant had some serious safety concerns a couple of years ago, but it appears that those had been mitigated with the adoption of newer, more modern aircraft. 

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I flew RDU to SJU on Allegiant a few years ago, about a three hour flight each way.  Not the most comfortable seats ever, but it wasn't horrible.  I'd do it again except that I think Allegiant has pulled out of SJU for the time being.

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A friend is traveling on the Lufthansa resumption flight this Saturday and I was reviewing seating availability on Expert Flyer for him. While it isn't 100% accurate, it's a pretty good gauge at estimating seating availability as it pulls directly from the airline's inventory and accurately shows blocked seats (which seating charts on airline websites don't show...they just show them as occupied) in addition to seats that are actually occupied by a ticketed passenger. 

Lufthansa uses their premium A350 configuration for the CLT-MUC route (it has a higher business class to economy ratio). As of right now, roughly 60 Economy seats are occupied (out of 224), 13 Premium Economy seats are occupied (out of 21), and 29 Business seats are occupied (out of 48). 

While this seems abysmal, it's important to note that its common for international airlines to charge for seat assignment prior to check-in, so I would expect the Economy numbers to go up a bit. 

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This is about RDU -- but you guys are AA experts -- what do you think RDU-LHR returning?  AA says it will but they've delayed several times and it has people wondering.  AA says with Apple and Google coming to the Triangle, it makes the flight even more attractive.  Thanks! 

https://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2021/06/30/rdu-to-london-nonstop-when-will-it-return.html

Edited by Phillydog
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1 hour ago, Phillydog said:

This is about RDU -- but you guys are AA experts -- what do you think RDU-LHR returning?  AA says it will but they've delayed several times and it has people wondering.  AA says with Apple and Google coming to the Triangle, it makes the flight even more attractive.  Thanks! 

https://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2021/06/30/rdu-to-london-nonstop-when-will-it-return.html

Hmm. 

I can't remember if there is a revenue guarantee or corporate contract tied to this route. I remember years ago GSK had a contract with AA that guaranteed a certain number of purchased Business class seats per flight regardless of whether the seats ended up being filled by GSK staff. Unsure if the agreement is still in place today, but that agreement IIRC made the RDU-LHR segment one of the most profitable routes in the AA system. 

If GSK (or any other company) has a contract with AA for RDU-LHR, it probably won't return until companies commit to resuming transatlantic business travel. Could be later this year...might not be until 2022 when businesses reset their corporate travel expense. 

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