Millions expected to travel for Memorial Day, huge increase at CLT Airport

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – For those hitting the road or going to the airport this Memorial Day weekend, a little pre-planning and patience can make the trip a bit smoother.

Officials at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport are expecting up to 100,000 people to come through between Thursday and Friday, marking a huge increase from the past couple years.

Air travelers can do the following things to make trips go smoother:

  • Pre-book parking. This can be done on the CLT Airport app or online, and saves both time and money.
  • Arrive early. If being dropped off or taking a ride share, travelers need to factor in the traffic at the airport. The drop off line at times has backed all the way out to Wilkinson Boulevard.
  • Find airport staff for help. If in need of assistance inside the airport, look for staff members wearing yellow vests.
  • Pay attention to flight schedules. With the potential for some weather to roll through Charlotte this weekend, delays and cancellations are possible.

“Anytime there’s significant weather here or somewhere else throughout the national airspace system, that does have an impact on operation,” Charlotte-Douglas COO Jerome Woodard said. “So that could snarl a lot of things. It could throw a monkey wrench into the traffic and your ability to get to the airport.”

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) also has some new technology to make getting through security a little faster. TSA continues to see people pack guns in their carry-on, in fact about 10 a month, which is illegal even if for those with a concealed carry permit.

Getting caught with a firearm inside a carry-on could lead to arrest and a $15,000 fine. Guns can be carried in checked baggage, though, but there are rules in place and they must be declared.

For the nearly 44 million people expected to hit the road this weekend, gas prices have gone up over the past few days. A gallon of gas currently averages $3.36 in North Carolina and $3.21 in South Carolina. A map of the cheapest stations in the area can be found here.

Related: Memorial Day travel could be its busiest in nearly two decades

Watch continuous news coverage here: