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All you need to know about Charleston International Airport

To help make your entire process at Charleston International Airport as smooth as possible, we’ve created a guide that covers everything from gates and parking to details on the airport’s nonstop flights.


With these airport tips, you’ll be a travel pro in no time.

Photo by @missadventuresome

Traveling via plane is fun — jet setting over beautiful blue waters or rolling hills, taking in cloud formations, and landing in a completely different location in a matter of hours is unlike anything else. The whole navigating the airport part? Less exciting, and sometimes pretty stressful.

To help make your time at Charleston International Airport as smooth as possible, we’ve created a guide that covers everything from gates, updates, and parking to details on the airport’s 60+ nonstop flights.

What to know

  • TSA | According to TSA, the busiest times at the checkpoint are between 4-7 a.m., 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., and 3-6 p.m. Learn how to enroll in TSA PreCheck.
  • Map it out | If you’re like us and need to completely visualize a place before you step foot inside, these maps of the entire airport will be your saving grace.
  • Flight status | While we recommend staying updated via your respective airline, you can also check the airport’s dashboard for your flight status in a pinch.
  • Reminder | Beginning May 7, 2025, you will need a REAL ID to board commercial flights in the US.

How early do you get to the airport before a flight? City Editor Callie here. When it comes to airport arrival times, some would say I like to live dangerously — because I rarely arrive with more than an hour to spare. But it’s because CHS does such a great job moving passengers through TSA. I swear I’ve never waited more than 20 minutes. Confession: this practice is not recommended.

Current airport updates

The state’s busiest airport, Charleston International Airport, served more than 6 million travelers in 2023. To keep up with those growing numbers, the airport is currently working on design projects to include a new concourse, ticketing hall expansion, and additional parking.

The image shows a map of CHS property and its parking options.

Plan your parking, leave a little extra time to find a spot in a parking deck or lot.

Provided by Charleston International Airport

Parking, shuttles, and rideshares

Not everyone has a bestie who will drop everything to pick them up from their 3 a.m. landing. The cell phone waiting lot offers temporary free parking for passenger pick-up. Find the hourly and daily rates for other lots below:

  • Hourly parking deck | $3 per hour, $21 per day
  • Daily parking deck | $5 per hour, $17 per day
  • Economy Lot A | $5 per hour, $11 per day
  • Valet parking | $25 max per day

Because Charleston International Airport only has one terminal, all of these parking options are within walking distance of TSA and your gate.
Hate the thought of driving yourself? Try out a shuttle, rideshare, or taxi service that will take you to and from the terminal. These services are suggested by the Charleston Airport:

  • Uber and Lyft | Find the pickup area across both roadways and on the right of the last sidewalk.
  • CARTA | Take the scheduled bus service to Tanger Outlets or downtown Charleston. Find the pickup area outside of baggage claim.
  • Hotel shuttles | Take a look at participating hotels offering shuttle service, including DoubleTree, Fairfield Inn and Suites, and Charleston Marriott.
  • Taxi | A $17 minimum fee will be charged from the airport — head to the ground transportation booth to receive a quote based on where you’re headed.
  • Rental cars | Walk to the end of the terminal past baggage claim to the rental car pavilion. Eight participating companies include Hertz, Enterprise, and Alamo.
The photo shows the grey Charleston International Airport Guest Service Desk, there's a pink wall with brochures about the Holy City.

The Charleston International Airport served more than 6 million travelers in 2023.

Nonstop flights

Here are 13 airlines that offer nonstop flights from Charleston.

Pro tip: Remember that flight times and schedules will often change you should rely on your respective airline for exact timing and to stay updated on any changes.

  • Air Canada | Toronto (YYZ)
  • Alaska | Seattle (SEA)
  • Allegiant | Cincinnati (CVG), Pittsburgh (PIT)
  • American Airlines | Charlotte (CLT), Chicago (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Philadelphia (PHL), Miami (MIA), Washington, DC (DCA)
  • Avelo | New Haven (HVN), Wilmington, DE (ILG)
  • Breeze | Akron/Canton (CAK), Charleston, WV (CRW), Columbus (CMH), Cincinnati (CVG), Fort Myers (RSW), Hartford (BDL), Long Island (ISP), Los Angeles (LAX), Louisville (SDF), Newburgh (SWF), New Orleans (MSY), Norfolk (ORF), Orlando (MCO), Phoenix (PHX), Pittsburgh (PIT), Portland, ME (PWM), Providence (PVD), Richmond (RIC), Syracuse (SYR), Tampa (TPA), White Plains, NY (HPN), West Palm Beach (PBI)
  • Delta | Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Detroit (DTW), New York City (LGA), New York City (JFK), Minneapolis (MSP)
  • Frontier | Philadelphia (PHL)
  • JetBlue | Boston (BOS), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Los Angeles (LAX), New York City (JFK), New York City (LGA), White Plains, NY (HPN)
  • Southwest | Baltimore (BWI), Chicago (MDW), Dallas (DAL), Denver (DEN), Houston (HOU), Nashville (BNA), St. Louis (STL)
  • Spirit | Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Fort Myers (RSW), Las Vegas (LAS), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), Tampa (TPA)
  • Sun Country Airlines | Minneapolis (MSP)
  • United | Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), Newark (EWR), Washington, DC (IAD)
A large airport window shows a calm tarmac.

There are several options to dine, drink, and shop between flights.

Photo by CHStoday

Food and drink

Charleston International Airport offers a handful of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops for fliers to dine before or between flights, like:

  • Charleston Beer Works | Concourse A | It’s five o’clock somewhere — explore local beer plus breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Jack Nicklaus Golden Bear Grill | Central Marketplace (past security) | This spot is named after the legendary golfer and features some of his favorites.
  • DeSano Pizza Bakery | Concourse B | Planes are the only thing in the air… so is the dough for freshly baked pizza.
  • Commonhouse Aleworks | Concourse B | This local brewery will provide a wide selection of beers for you to enjoy before your flight.
  • Harvest + Grounds | Central Marketplace (past security) | Enjoy a fresh coffee from King Bean Coffee Roasters and a treat from a local bakery.
  • There are several national chains like Chick-fil-A, Cinnabon, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Burger King offered.


Concourse A | Features five gates
Concourse B | Features 10 gates

Fly comfortably

While we may not be able to offer solutions for crying babies or mysterious in-flight meals, we do have some tricks up our sleeves for upping your comfort while flying. Browse some of our favorite travel essentials:

  • Lights Out Sleep Mask | This eye mask provides optimal comfort and aids restful sleep amidst changing environments and varying light conditions.
  • The AirFly Pro | Make sure you can always access in-flight entertainment (while avoiding the wired headphones airlines pass out) by using an AirFly. It plugs into your seat’s headphone jack and connects to your earbuds or headphones via Bluetooth.
  • Trtl travel pillow | The Trtl pillow is scientifically designed to provide a better head position when sleeping upright, thanks to an internal support system comfortably cushioned in cozy fleece.
  • Leather Dopp Kit | Keep your essentials organized and easily accessible, ensuring hassle-free journeys wherever you go.
  • Bose Noise Canceling Headphones | These headphones are tried-and-true traveling companions, beloved for their crisp sound and ability to block exterior noise.
  • Cozy Earth joggers | These Oprah-approved joggers are polished enough to navigate the airport in, but comfy and stretchy enough for long flights.
  • Snacks | Bringing your own snacks ensures dietary preferences are met — plus, you’ll save time and money while traveling.
  • Anti-nausea wristbands | Some simple anti-nausea wristbands might relieve a nervous stomach or sensitivity to turbulence while flying.
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