CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Those beeping electric carts at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport are gone.
The carts, which were used to carry seniors and handicapped passengers, were discontinued by American Airlines in early April.
The carts have now been replaced by individual wheelchairs available in the main terminal and at the various gates for plane-to-plane transfers.
Katie Cody, a spokesperson for American Airlines says the main reason for discontinuing the carts was safety.
“As you know, the terminal here is very congested, so having those carts coming down the middle was only clogging it up even more,” she said.
Sally Wilson who was flying home from Charlotte today sat in a wheelchair waiting to be taken to her flight, said, “I love it…I use it all the time when I come here.”
Cody said with the old carts a passenger trying to connect with another flight might have to transfer from cart to cart as many as seven times.
With the wheelchair, it's right to the cabin door.
As for efficiency, the electric carts could carry four or five passengers on one trip, whereas a wheelchair can only take one person.
Cody responded saying, “Usually it wasn’t four or five, usually it was one or two.”
Cody dismissed the idea that the carts were faster, saying customers will almost always get to their gates faster with a wheelchair push.