19 Sep 2022
Cool news about Charleston International Airport - also known as CHS - keeps flying into the media feeds at top speeds.
Thankfully, the powers-that-be are taking steps to ensure that the experience of flying into the Holy City will continue to be a pleasant one.
Charleston’s airport has been in the news a lot lately, for good reason. Check out some of these stats…
- At a recent count, three million passengers have flown through CHS in just the first seven months of 2022.
- That’s more than the entire year of 2014, which was the first year CHS reached the three million passenger mark.
- It’s on a pace to pass the five million passenger mark by the end of the year - which would be an all-time record for Charleston International.
- The current record is 4.87 million, set in 2019, before the pandemic.
- 12 carriers currently fly nonstop from Charleston to more than 50 different airports.
Traffic this summer has been really something, with three consecutive months setting new records.
Interestingly, the TSA recently conducted a major study of how airports have recovered their numbers of returning passengers since the pandemic. Turns out Charleston International is one of the very best among medium and large airports.
Yes, pent-up pandemic demand is behind some of those incredible numbers. But so is the fact that Charleston is getting so many new airlines.
Getting named the #1 city to visit, ten years in a row, certainly doesn’t hurt.
As I covered recently, some high-profile new carriers are choosing to fly into Charleston. And the ones who have been here are adding more and more flights - many of them the blissful nonstop kind, to and from major destinations. Read all about CHS’s direct flight service in this blog.
The biggest new carrier to offer service to Charleston is, of course, Breeze Airways, which came here in May 2021. Breeze was started by the guy who launched JetBlue. It’s already made major waves, with its convenient routes, nonstop flights to cool destinations, good passenger experience and surprisingly low fares.
In fact, their launch here has gone so well, that they’ve now made the Holy City their main hub. Breeze has grown from 11 nonstop destinations initially, to now offering flights to 21 different cities.
A couple of other airlines have started serving Charleston as well, including Sun Country, flying to Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Avelo, offering service to New Haven, Connecticut.
More Seating and More Gates
With so many new flights coming in to Charleston, airport officials have kicked into high gear to make the experience better for travelers. They’re initiating some helpful changes and additions, so keep an eye peeled.
First off the bat, they are adding more gates. They’re in the process of adding three additional gates to Concourse A, and they should be ready to go any day now.
They are also adding a bunch of new seats to the areas where passengers wait for flights.
- Concourse A will gain a total of 299 new places to sit.
- Concourse B will get 231 new seats.
- Many of the new seating options will have charging stations for electronic devices.
- They’re adding seating to the terminal’s central waiting area, as well as rearranging existing table seating to better accommodate folks.
New Gate Arrangements
CHS is also changing the way its gate seating works. Gates used to be designated for use by a particular airline. But no more… no doubt because so many new airlines are jumping aboard.
Now gates will function in a “common use format” instead of being tied to a specific carrier. This certainly will give CHS more flexibility in managing flights.
The lines can get pretty long inside the main hall at the many airline ticket counters, as folks wait to check their bags.
Soon the airport will add four kiosks at the curb outside, conveniently located right at passenger drop-off. They’ll be complete with conveyor belts that schlep your bags inside for you. This way you’ll be able to check your bags right as you arrive, and not have to wait in line inside - streamlining the arrival process.
So join the crowd in flying to or from Charleston.
Thankfully CHS is an easy airport to manage, especially when you compare it to the other ones out there. And airport officials are constantly working to keep it as such - an enjoyable travel experience, and a great way to arrive at one of the best places on Earth.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger