CHARLOTTE — If you’re heading to the airport anytime soon, things look a little different.
On Friday, Charlotte Douglas International Airport permanently closed Checkpoint B, shuffling thousands of passengers into the other security lines.
Now, there are stop signs that greet you at Checkpoint B. It’ll be closed until the holiday season.
John Paul Mariano said his job as a compliance manager has taken him in and out of Charlotte Douglas at least 100 times in the past several years. He thinks the terminal lobby expansion is a good thing.
“I like it. Charlotte has seen its time over the years, and wear and tear. The upgrades we see right now will only enhance the travel experience,” Mariano said.
Those upgrades include closing four standard security lanes at Checkpoint B to make room for six automated screening lanes, plus two standard lanes -- at least doubling the previous capacity.
Airport officials said Checkpoint B handled an average of 7,300 passengers last summer. That traffic will now be split between the remaining four security checkpoints.
Anastasia Seifert travels to LAX often, and said these improvements aren’t that bad in comparison.
“This is much more seamless, a lot easier, not as much up and down and across the airport,” she said.
It’s good perspective for frequent fliers like Mariano, who shared his one big travel tip.
“If you could avoid checking bags,” he said.
Airport officials said TSA will reposition employees to other checkpoints to help with the added traffic.
The airport’s $3.1 billion expansion will renovate nearly 200,000 square feet of space and add 175,000 more. For perspective, 175,000 more square feet is like adding the whole Biltmore Estate to the airport’s footprint.
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