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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

Table of Contents

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 updates and parking to details on the airports 50+ 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.
  • 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.
  • Reminder | By May 3, 2023, you will need a REAL ID to board commercial flights in the US.
  • 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.

Current airport updates

The Charleston International Airport recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of two new gates on Concourse A as part of a larger plan to increase gate capacity. Airport CEO Elliott Summey recently acknowledged an expectation of five million passengers this year.

Additionally, the airport increased the total gate capacity by 20% in July with a third gate opening.

Parking, shuttles, and rideshare

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 + 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 & Suites, and Charleston Marriott.
  • Taxi | A $15 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. Participating companies include Hertz, Enterprise, and Alamo.

Nonstop flights

Here are three nonstop flights from Charleston to nearby locations + their airlines.

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.

  • Charlotte, NC | American
  • Atlanta, GA | Delta
  • Washington, D.C. | United + American

Food and drink

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

  • Caviar & Bananas | Central Marketplace (past security) | This local café is a great option for those early morning flights, speaking from experience. Don’t forget to grab something from the charcuterie and cheese counter.
  • Charleston Beer Works | Concourse A | It’s five o’clock somewhere — explore local beer plus breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Harvest & Grounds | Central Marketplace (past security) | Enjoy a fresh coffee from King Bean Coffee Roasters and a treat from a local bakery.
  • Samuel Adams Brewhouse | Concourse B | Pair your favorite pub-style bites with bottled beer.
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