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  1. #1

    Default Travel Tip for Anyone Connecting Through Charlotte

    We just got back from a trip to Grand Cayman (family vacation with kids). I travel a lot for work, and always want to post this tip, but then forget to do so.

    Please read if you are flying on USAirways on your return trip from Jamaica and connecting through Charlotte. After you go through immigration, collect your luggage, recheck your luggage, and then go through customs, you will come out at an area where you will need to take the escalator in order to go through security again and then go to your gate.

    The security check-point area for the D and E concourses is at the top of this escalator. This checkpoint ALWAYS backs up because people coming from customs just assume that this is where you need to go through security again. Usually, there is no one there to tell you that you can use other security checkpoints. Even if your next flight leaves out of D or E, if this checkpoint is backed-up (and it will be), take a very short walk down the concourse (follow the signs to ABC terminals) and go through security at C (the next checkpoint) or even B. Even if you have to double back to go to the D gates, it is not a far walk from the C checkpoint (no more than a 75 yards). And most of the connecting flights leave out of B and C anyway (unless you are on a small commuter flight, which leave out of E).

    Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

    Also, be very glad that something like Couples exits. I have seen more screaming little kids over the course of four days than I ever want to see for the rest of my life. Honestly, does an 8 year old really need to scream, "look at all the f***ing fish!"

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    Thanks for the security tip, and especially for that awesome quote at the end of your note - I almost fell out of my cube laughing!!!

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    Bob&Judy; Thanks for the info on Charlotte. As for the family vacation time, please let me say this. We all love our kids, that's a given, but couples need time alone just to enjoy and learn about one another. Gina and I deal with troubled marriages on a weekly basis. Many people would be amazed at how many marriages fall apart just for the fact that they never take time out away from the kids. Not everyone can afford to go to a "Couples" resort, but a wknd getaway every few months, and a date night at least every two wks will do wonders for a marriage. Our kids will grow up and move out "eventually". You and your spouse will be together forever. We've coached several couples who were married 20-30 years where one, or both, had put their kids wants above the needs of their spouse. When the last one was gone, they didn't know each other, or even how to communicate. They have nothing in common, so they think divorce is the answer. That's not the way we want to spend our empty nest years. If you don't "TAKE" the alone time, it will never come.
    Ken & Gina

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    Bob and Judy, this took us years to figure this out! Great tip.

    Ken and Gina, EXCELLENT advice!!!!

  5. #5

    Default Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    We missed our flight going home through Charlotte last year because of back-up. There was a group of deploying National Guard (with boots, etc.) and although I am so proud of them, they or the situation caused a serious back-up. We could have made a flight that cost us a night over stay. This is really good info.

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    What ken&gina5 says is correct! We just returned from our first trip to Jamaica, to CSS. Flew AA from LAX to Miami, flew back USAir to Charlotte and on to LAX. Both ways we experienced delays, angry people, and lots of crying (Screaming!) kids! Really, though, the security and immigration sagas on each end of the trip were easy. It was the delayed planes, the changing gates, the waiting for hours until your plane was finally ready to go that was the problem (can you say "Moo"?). We only wish Jamaica was closer to California, or that there was a direct flight from LAX. But for the five full days we were at CSS, it was all about us. We limited the teens to one text message a day. We read real books. We talked and walked and met new (nice and wonderful) people and ate and drank and, yes, became aficionados of SSB. We really appreciated each other, and hope to appreciate each other as time goes on. Who knows how long anyone has to be together? We are so happy we discovered Couples, and can't wait to find the time and wherewithall to go again. We're back to the day to day, back to the kids, but just before we go to sleep, we talk about our time at Couples. Thanks for the memories . . . we hope to be making more in the near future!!

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    Back home in 64 days !!
    Ken & Gina

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    I assume this also applies to flights going to Jamaica that have a lay over in Charlotte. Is this correct? We have only an hour to get to our connecting flight. Sure would hate to waste one day. Thanks
    Jamaicajeanne

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeanne View Post
    I assume this also applies to flights going to Jamaica that have a lay over in Charlotte. Is this correct? We have only an hour to get to our connecting flight. Sure would hate to waste one day. Thanks
    Actually - NO - connecting domestic flights that continue on to Jamaica do not need to go through security checkpoints a second time. You may have to go to a different terminal but once through security you're done - The only reason to have to go through a security checkpoint a second time is if you are coming from another country and have to clear customs.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeanne View Post
    I assume this also applies to flights going to Jamaica that have a lay over in Charlotte. Is this correct? We have only an hour to get to our connecting flight. Sure would hate to waste one day. Thanks
    No, on departing flights you just walk from your arrival gate to wherever your departure gate is. Flights departing foreign can go from any gate, and I'll often kill a CHarlotte layover walking over to the next Carib departure to see the happy folks getting ready to go.

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    Jeanne,

    NO! On the way to Jamaica all you have to do is get off you plane and find you next gate. You do not have to go through immigration or customs in the US on the way to Jamaica. This only applies to coming home.

    I agree with Bob and Judy, in fact I think that security at A concourse is always better at the Charlotte airport.

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    Jeanne - no, it does not really apply on the trip down to Jamaica. You do not go through Customs and Immigration in Charlotte. You go through it once you arrive in Jamaica. You also don't have to go through security again in Charlotte on your flight to Jamaica. Say if you arrive in the B Concourse, you will just walk to whichever gate your Montego Bay flight is at (the MoBay flights have been leaving out of the D Concourse for the most part).

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    We are flying through Charlette next summer, both ways. While I can not make heads of tails of your directions, having never been to the Charlette airport, I am going to print out your post and stick it in my passport wallet for reference when we get there.
    Good question jeanne. Does this info apply for outgoing flights to Jamaica? We will be passing through fairly early in the morning on a Tuesday with only about a 45 minute layover, and I am curious how busy it may be.
    Thanks for the info.

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    Is it possible to do all this in 90 minutes?

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    Thanks for the tip. We have 75 minutes between flights so this could be a BIG help.

  16. #16

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    Thanks for the info. When we come back through Charlotte we have 75 minutes between flights. Every minute counts.

  17. #17

    Default To anyone who reads this - Take stalk in this post

    We were in the van on our way back to the airport a week and a half ago only to receive a phone call from the mom of a family that my 13 year old son was staying with telling is that her husband had died that morning.

    We do never know how long we will be on this earth - enjoy every moment with those you love both family time and couple time!

    God Bless.....

  18. #18

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    Hi Dirtleg - I think the directions will make sense once you get to Charlotte.

    On your way down to Jamaica, you don't have to go through customs or immigration. Even so, 45 minutes is a tight layover. Where are you coming in from? If you fly into E Concourse (these are the smaller planes), there are lots of moving sidewalks to help speed your way. The B and C concourses don't have moving sidewalks, except between the concourses. There is also a moving sidewalk connecting B/C to D and E.

    One thing I always do is about a week before departure, I check the flights on the USAirways website. I do this to try and get a feel for how the flights are running. Is my inbound flight always late? Always early? You just click on the "flight status" tab and enter in your flight numbers. This will also give you an idea as to where your flight will arrive (which concourse) and where the flight to Jamaica departs (as I said, it has been leaving out of D concourse lately).

    Hope this helps!

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    BobandJudy,

    We are flying US Airways out of St. Louis. We take a "commuter" run to Charlotte for our US Air connection to MBJ. Since it is all US Air I am hoping that they have thought it out with enough foresight to allow a smooth transition with out too much drama at the airport. We will where our running shoes just in case. My biggest concern is our luggage, but it appears that everyone on our flight is headed to MBJ as it is a US Air package vacation so I'm guessing that all, or most, of the baggage on the plane is going to the same place. Safety in numbers, eh?

    Thanks again for the information and advice!

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    We took American Airlines to Miami and MB and US Air from MB to Charlotte on the way back to LAX. Don't worry about the time in between flights . . . we had significant delays both ways! Airlines sure don't run their businesses like they used to.

  21. #21

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    kenandgina5:

    You said it perfectly!!! I can't agree more!!

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    Thank you so much for the information. We have only 45 min. between flights on the way down and 90 min. on the way back. I have gone to the Douglass website and looked over the terminal map. If we miss a connection comming home ...oh well. It would be heartbreaking to miss the connection on the way to Jamaica. December 10th will be our first trip to Jamaica. Going to CN. SOOOO EXCITED!

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