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Saturday, August 25, 2018

Review of Charlotte Douglas International Airport Minute Suites

Recently before boarding an International flight, LTD decided to check out the recently-opened Minute Suites in Charlotte Douglas International Airport located in the main Atrium and food court. One hour is free if you have the American Express Platinum Card and have subscribed to the free Priority Pass Lounge Membership.

The bottom line is that this is a great option for either a short visit before a flight if you need to put your feet up, watch tv, take a nap or get some work done. It is a quiet alternative to the airport lounges at CLT which can be rather noisy and crowded at times.  Alternatively it would serve as an option for a “hotel” on the dreaded occasion that your late night flight is cancelled. If you can phone ahead for a reservation, you will be more likely to get a room when needed.  The phone number is at the end of this post!

  • Check in was quick and a suite was available immediately.  A credit card must be given in case you incur any charges - just like at a hotel. At the entrance are decent products for sale including Jack Black and Burt’s Bees skin care products, and an entire mini pharmacy for stocking up on forgotten items or treating aches and pains.

  • The rooms are about 10’ by 10’. There are no ensuite bathrooms in six of the seven suites. If you are lucky enough to reserve the shower suite (which does not cost extra) you have a bathroom in your suite but otherwise you have to leave the facility to use the bathroom by papa johns in the food court.  If you have American Airlines Lounge access, the C concourse Lounge is very close by.

    Surprisingly the facility is extremely quiet. Notice that the mini suites are located right behind the piano player in the atrium of Charlotte Douglas international airport and in the middle of the food court. Despite all of the activity of hurting around the mini suite at noon on the day we visited, you could not hear any outside noise with the exception of the other patrons speaking to the attendant at the desk. This small amount of noise was easily muffled with white noise from Alexa or from the piped-in white noise, who’s volume can be adjusted on the wall switches.

  • Each suite has a RFID room key, a small refrigerator stocked with drinks for sale, a small desk, 32” Smart TV with DirectTV, couch, pillow, throw pillow, blanket, end table, dimmable lights, thermostat, piped-in white-noise, Trundle bed, WiFi and Alexa.  Many other amenities are as seen in the brochure.

  • A Trundle bed is a bed that is stored under a normal bed, and that can be rolled out for use by a guest.  Each mini suite has a Trundle bed, but the extra bed is at ground level and does not elevate to the height of the couch. There is no extra charge for a guest and extra pillows and blankets are available.

  • Alexa is limited but she will play white noise sounds like the beach, music and sets an alarm for you.  

  • WiFi is available and the Smart TV with DirectTV in every suite could be used to watch your favorite streaming shows or that football game you can’t miss.

  • Snacks and drinks are for sale and are not included, and LTD thinks a bottle of water and a bowl of complimentary mints would be a nice touch. 

  • Other than having to use the public restrooms in the food court, there are a couple of  additional negatives. For example, the leather/vinyl covers on the couch/beds may be hot when sleeping but there is an adjustable thermostat in each suite and let’s face it, this material is probably much cleaner than fabric.  We cannot comment on how well the temperature control works since we were only there an hour.  Another negative is the non-functioning online reservation system — we tried the online reservation system without success. The attendant said appointments can be made ahead by calling 1-980-299-1542.  LTD recommends calling ahead.  When we left Charlotte Mini Suites, three patrons were waiting for suites.

  • Normally, a one-hour rental will cost you $42 — plus an additional $42 per hour after that, broken down into 15-minute increments. LTD received one hour free with our Priority Pass Lounge card which is free with American Express Platinum Card.  If you have a canceled flight or a long layover (and let’s face it, if you fly often there is a big chance this will happen to you), this is a much more efficient and less expensive option to a hotel room!  With the exception of potentially not having a bathroom!

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