Updated: May 21, 2015

Charleston International Airport - CHS:

Unless you live in Charleston, you probably aren't traveling into and out of the airport that often. Charleston, South Carolina is a great place to visit, but the airport is small compared to an LAX or SFO. I recently flew from Portland, Oregon (PDX) into CHS Airport in June 2011. Actually our flight went from PDX to Midway in Chicago and then onto Charleston. Southwest Airlines has added Charleston as a destination this year and my family was up for the trip. The only problem was that there are not many flights each day that go into Charleston - Southwest only offers 2 flights a day that come from Chicago. Most flights originate from the East Coast or somewhere like Dallas or Chicago. I did not find any nonstop flights from the West Coast to get into Charleston, SC.


CHS Airport - Arrivals and Departures - The airport is similar in size to say Manchester, NH. Easy to get off your flight, grab your bags and get into a rental car within 30 minutes or less. My type of airport experience. The official website can be found at http://www.chs-airport.com/. There you will see listings for arrivals, departures, what airlines are served, parking and ground transportation services, maps, weather, and real time flight information. The weather in Charleston tends to be hot and humid with regular thunderstorms so be prepared for flight delays. We were lucky that on our way out and when leaving CHS airport we had no delays. There are 128 flights each day that leave the airport going to 15 destinations. The airport is about 13 miles from downtown (a good 25 minute drive). It's located right near the intersection of Hwy 526 and 26. You will see signs for the airport no matter which direction you approach from. I found the crowds to be minimal when we arrived on a Saturday as we got there at the start of summer vacations for most families. Lots of families were leaving the day we left, so the airport had a slower than usual security checkpoint with lots of kids going through and holding things up. There were a few places to eat which made it convenient for us to grab a bite before departing.

Charleston Airport - Terminal Map:

As I mentioned above, the airport is not that big. There is one terminal with 2 concourses - A & B. You can find a good map at http://www.chs-airport.com/apmaps.htm. You'll notice that American, Continental, US Airways and Southwest Airlines take up Concourse B and Concourse A is for Delta and United. Baggage claim is right next to the rental car counters and immediately on your right as you leave the security area. Easy to get your bags at CHS.

Rental Cars at Charleston Airport:

Need to rent a car at CHS? No problem as they deal with Enterprise, Dollar, Thrifty, National, Hertz, Budget, and Avis. I already had a reservation with Budget, but all the other car rental companies had cars available the day we were at the airport. Rates are not cheap from Charleston Airport - not sure if it's because of the extra taxes thrown onto the bill or not. We paid almost $300 for the week which seems high to me. Anywhere else I usually go the rates for a weekly rental are closer to $220 or cheaper. Shop around and see what you can find before commiting to one agency. All the car rental information is at http://www.chs-airport.com/rentalcars.htm. Go to the counter, fill out the paperwork and then head out the doors to their parking lot. No need to take shuttle buses or go to a rental car center. It's easy and convenient like all airports should be. The only funny part was that you could get into your car and leave the lot without having to stop at a booth and have someone raise the gate to get out. Perhaps they are a bit behind the times or ahead. Either way it made for one less thing to deal with as we left the airport.