In our last Airport Review blog post we got a great in-depth review of Buffalo Airport thanks to Jeremy @JRSharpsMan, well guess what, Jeremy is at it again. This time he reviews Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE). Enjoy!
Parking at the Airport
The most efficient and cost effective parking here at CLE is no surprise off site. There are lots on Snow Road just a ½ mile from the airport. Park Place and Park N Fly are the two that I utilize the most. Both have cheap day rates with frequent parker cards helping those of us going on vacation to earn that free parking! If you are looking for something a little closer to the terminal, or just running late, I sometimes like to utilize the Sheraton’s parking lot for $ 10.00 a day. Just a stone’s throw from the terminal, the hotel has a shuttle that runs every few minutes. CLE airport does own a covered parking deck across from the terminal, but with higher rates and no bonus program I stay away.
Arriving at the Airport
CLE is one main terminal divided into 5 easy to access concourses. Concourse A hosts American, Frontier and US Airways. Concourse B hosts Delta and Southwest with C hosting Air Canada and the general check in of United. Though I am biased to United and only utilize the Premier Access check in at the end of the Main Terminal Concourse D, the other airlines are also quite close to UA. TSA is located at the far left end of concourse D by United Premier Access with the other being next to Delta check in desks. Both are quite small spaces for airport check ins for such a large a airport, but as long as you arrive 1.5 hours pre flight you should have no issues. The only obstacle most amateur travelers run into on United is the walk from security to Concourse D. Once thru security, make a left toward the United mainline gates C3-C10 and once you reach the Charter Bank ATM machine look to the left and see walkway to Concourse D. I believe it is just under a ½ mile walk down but electric carts help out in a quick connection or for our more senior travelers. Concourse D the furthest distance from the main check in kiosks hosts the Regional jets United operates, but also has a cigar shop, Subway, Gordon Biersch Brewery, Hudson News, and Bluwire electronics store.
Once through Security
CLE has a lot of places to eat pre flight for all tastes. For breakfast I like the Dunkin Donuts in the main terminal right after TSA. The well staffed crew gets you in and out quickly while keeping the line moving for the Java starved passengers early morning. For lunch, I like a Great American Bagel sandwich which brown bagged to go can go right on the plane with you for later eating. For the pre flight cocktail crowd, check out Great Lakes Brewing Company. Local beers and good sandwiches, if you have the time I recommend trying an exotic lager pre flight. Also, Panini’s Bar and Grill make massive Clevelandesque sandwiches with a local flare that can fill you up for a few hours. For the healthier eaters, go to McAllister’s Deli near the United Club and the 20 gates. Salads and wraps all made to order don’t leave the guilty feeling of a Panini Sandwich or Great Lakes burger on your mind for that long flight. For the shoppers out there, hang a left thru security and check out Taxco Sterling, Crocs, Swatch, and ITech electronics. For the men out there in need of a fashion upgrade, take a walk to Johnston and Murphy near the B concourse. Also in B, visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame shop and pick up some memorabilia if you couldn’t make it to the actual museum downtown. Forget your sunglasses? Fear not, a Sunglass Hut is in Concourse B fully stocked with all brands of shades. Need a gift for the spouse after that long trip from home? Ulta Diamonds in B also has a ton of nice gifts sure to make them smile.
In concourses B and D, the massage bar can ease tension pre of post flight in 15 minute intervals and not that expensive. For me, it’s off to the United Club next to Gate C17 in the C concourse. Large and the only one in the airport, the United Club has lots of work desks, comfortable seats and a large bar for pre or post flight relaxation. For non members, day passes are available upon walking in and can be quite useful for those lengthy layovers.
Arriving at the Airport
For those lucky enough to visit CLE for a week or weekend, getting out of the airport is quick and easy. If arriving on United from Concourse D, make the long walk to the C concourse, hang a right and look for the TSA security area. Hang a right and you will exit out towards the United Check in kiosks. The escalator going down will take you to the dozen or so baggage claim areas. No checked bags? No problem. Just head out the doors and you may be lucky enough to have your ride sitting right there waiting. CLE is actually pretty good about letting cars sit and wait unlike most airport police who keep the traffic moving like a NYC Monday morning. Catching a hotel shuttle? Just cross the street past the passenger pick up and spot your bus and be on your way. Renting a car? CLE does not have on site terminal pick up so you have to take the rental car shuttle to the offsite rental facility and go from there. All 7 major rental car carriers service CLE, and it’s not that bad of a ride to pick up your car.
Staying Near the Airport
For me, it’s a no brainer to stay at the Marriott on W140th. Located just one exit before the airport, this large hotel has a 24/7 shuttle, a restaurant, fitness center, and everything you need for a quick night’s sleep or a couple day business trip. As mentioned earlier, there is a Sheraton on airport property, and though I have never stayed there, this is the closest option to the terminal. Other hotels are located one or two exits from the airport as well, but be sure to check and make sure they have a shuttle. Nothing worse than staying near the airport and having to pay to get dropped off!
Thanks Jeremy for the amazing review, keep it up!
P.S. Want to share your own airport review? You can post your airport review on Airport Chatter and if you have an in-depth review like Jeremy’s feel free to email us to get yourself a guest post on the blog; firstname.lastname@example.org