The Charleston metro area is growing and so is our airport! The number of people passing through Charleston International is expected to grow by 25% over the next 8 years. This will mean over 4 million people flying in and out.
The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest times for the airport and they have recently seen some changes. Some of these renovations opened up a week or 2 ago just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday travelers.
Your travel from start to finish will look a little different this year. First, you’re going to see some differences before you even get inside because the biggest change is the traffic flow in front of the terminals. There are two lanes open for pick up and drop off. Also, two lanes open for buses, taxis, limos and shuttles. Drive slowly and watch for new signs as you get familiar with this new flow of cars.
Arguably the most dreaded part of flying is getting checked-in and getting through security. We spoke with Paul Campbell, the CEO of Charleston County Aviation Authority and he says there will be some changes to that as well.
“The consolidated check point is much better than we had before,” Campbell states. “We’re trying to work with TSA to make it more streamlined so that the pre-check lines stay open longer and that’s dependent on the passenger rush. As passengers come in, TSA opens those types of things up”
Also, all concourse B gates and boarding lounges will be open, which will make your pre-flight experience more enjoyable with more food and drink options. Campbell told News 2 that new dining options are available now and more are on the way. “The travel experience will be better because we’ll have more food services on the secure side of the airport.”
He is excited about new local food options where people can grab a bite to eat now like DeSano’s Pizza and looks forward to more like Caviar and Bananas and Charleston Beer Works coming in the near future.
Because we all want to stay plugged in, there are new charging stations where you can plug in your phones, tablets and computers so they are ready for your flight.
Once you get back, where you get off the plane will also be different. Passengers are going to exit under the new central hall dome. If you are waiting to pick someone up, you can greet them under the dome or wait at baggage claim close by. Baggage claim will see a third baggage carousel will re-open to help you get your bag and get out the door sooner.