Charlotte Douglas International Airport is located a few miles to the west of downtown Charlotte, and is a large airport in the United States of America. It is regarded as the eleventh busiest for passenger traffic in the country, as well as the sixth busiest in the world for aircraft movements. The airport handles just under 40 million passengers every year. Arriving passengers have access to various ground transportation options, as well as the Charlotte Douglas International Airport car hire companies, which are conveniently located within the airport terminal. Car rental is also offered at competitive rates for all airport customers.
This airport of the United States was formerly the Charlotte Municipal Airport, and then the Douglas Municipal Airport, but its current name came about in 1982, and is in honour of a former Charlotte Mayor, Ben Elbert Douglas, Sr. There are five concourses for passengers facilities and a main terminal where many of the airport’s concessionaries can be found. The airport is a major hub for US Airways, and therefore only Concourse A is not used by this airline company. Passengers on international flights will arrive at Concourse D, and persons on domestic flights, depending on their airline company, will arrive at one of the other four concourses. Concourse E is mainly used by US Airways. Although buses and taxis serve the airport, passengers often rent a car, from the airport car hire companies, which include Hertz, Budget, National, Avis, Alamo, Auto Europa, Easycar, Enterprise, Thrifty, Dollar and Europcar. Keep in mind, however, that all Europcar customers will go to the National rental counters in order to collect their vehicles.
The car rental counters of the airport are found on the lower baggage claim level of the main terminal building, and are therefore easily accessed from all parts of the airport complex. The rental car companies are open almost twenty-four hours a day, providing a service that is convenient for passengers on all arrival flights. They are also open on bank holidays, but their hours may vary on such days. It is recommended to book your rented car in advance from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport car rental companies, as the popular vehicles can be in high demand. It is also best to make an early online car rental reservation if a special vehicle is required.
The cars available for hire from the airport are usually arranged into various car categories, such as Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Fullsize, Premium, Luxury, SUV and Minivan. There could also be categories which contain convertibles, crossovers and vehicles with room for a larger number of passengers. Certain car hire companies, for example, Hertz and Budget, hire vehicles by their specific make and model as well, and not just by category. Hertz has three collections from where vehicles can be more specifically hired (Hertz Green Traveler, Hertz Prestige and Hertz Adrenaline), and Budget has a ‘Street Fleet’ category, from where several cars are available.
The most popular cars to hire are often those with cheaper rental rates, and are similar to the Chevrolet Aveo, Ford Focus, Dodge Avenger, Chevrolet Cobalt and Chevrolet Cruze. These cars generally have two or four doors, space for four or five passengers and room for an item of luggage or two. Although they are convenient for travel in the city, and to further locations, a larger car may be more suitable for families. The Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus, Ford Crown Victoria and Buick LaCrosse are more spacious. The last two mentioned are cars found in the Premium and Luxury categories, and come with some nice extra features. Most cars, however, will have air conditioning, CD players and power steering, or power locks and windows. SUVs and Minivans are also commonly hired from Charlotte Douglas International Airport. SUVs can seat five, for example, the Ford Escape and Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, or even seven, such as the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Expedition EL. Minivans are an ideal choice for seven or eight passengers as well, and are similar to the Dodge Grand Caravan and Toyota Sienna. Even larger vehicles include the Ford E350 for twelve passengers and the Chevrolet Express for fifteen passengers.
Airport business travellers will find that National offers many options suitable for corporate rentals, while leisure travellers have more benefits with Alamo. Both companies are well known around the world for offering reasonable car rental rates. Avis, Auto Europa and Enterprise have many years of experience in the car hire industry, and are a good choice for all types of rentals. The Avis Preferred Membership is an excellent loyalty program to join if more frequent rentals are required. Thrifty and Dollar provide their customers with some interesting services, including the Multi-Month Rental Program and the ‘Wild Card’ category, from where larger vehicles can be obtained at low rental rates. All companies, however, offer one way hire services from Charlotte Douglas Airport. One way hires allow the rented vehicle to be returned to a different car rental location.
Additional items of equipment can be arranged with the car rental company of your choice. Child seats will be necessary if you are travelling with babies or young children. The seats are suitable in size for infants and toddlers, as well as for older children. It is required by law in the United States for all persons in a vehicle to wear seatbelts. Useful for all travellers, is a satellite navigation system. The GPS units hired are state-of-the-art devices able to give clear directions to any location. They can also pinpoint your location at any time, come with a choice of languages and are pre-programmed with thousands of points of interest. Persons with disabilities can request the use of hand control equipment. From the car hire companies of Charlotte Douglas International Airport, hand controls are free of charge, but will need an advanced reservation.
Always drive your rented car carefully in Charlotte, obeying the road rules and the speed limits, which are 30mph/48kph in urban areas, 65mph/105kph on open roads and 70mph/113kph on motorways and highways. Charlotte drivers can also make use of the many parking lots around the city if convenient. The Charlotte Convention Centre and the Westin Hotel have some of the largest parking areas. Contact your favourite Charlotte Douglas International Airport car hire company for all further details required.