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Traffic, delegates flow smoothly through airport

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Updated12:50 p.m.

People and baggage were moving smoothly at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, with no problems reported as of 12:50 p.m.

Some delegates said they’d been told they’d have a 20-minute wait to get a spot on a motor coach but many people were able to get rides earlier than that.

Connecticut delegate William Henderson III would have been hard to miss as he arrived at the airport Sunday morning.

Henderson, president of the Communication Workers of America Local 1298 union, explained his agenda for the campaign while he stood in the baggage claim area on the airport’s lower level.

"We’re gonna kick ____ for the working class," he shouted to attendants behind the counter. "We’re going to bring back America."

State Sen. Bill Perkins of New York’s 30th District campaigned for President Obama four years ago and attended his first nomination ceremony. He arrived in Charlotte Sunday so he would have time to get settled and see the city before caucus meetings begin.

"I was the first to endorse Obama in the state of New York," Perkins said. "It’s perhaps even more important for us to continue the work that needs to be done. Looking at the other (Republican) convention and the way it was handled indicates we have a great challenge ahead of us.

"There was a negative message sent out," he said, a reference to actor and director Clint Eastwood’s appearance at the Republican National Convention. Eastwood took jabs at Obama over the nation’s unemployment rate, among other things.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport warned the public that the weather conditions may cause slight delays in departures and arrivals on Sunday.

Passengers were being advised to contact their airlines. Flight information also can be found at http://bit.ly/PUYyLh

The weather was blamed for some flight delays on Saturday afternoon, when two thunderstorms crossed the city.

Sunday also marks the second day of temporary traffic changes at the airport. To help handle extra congestion, all commercial ground transportation such as shuttles or taxis has been directed to the lower level of the airport. Meanwhile, those who are arriving or leaving by personal car must use the upper level of the airport.

The road changes will continue through Monday.

The Labor Day weekend is typically a busy travel time at the airport, and the convention has just swelled the numbers of those moving through the facility. Officials reported that 12,500 passengers arrived on Saturday, many of them delegates for the DNC.

Staff writers Karen Sullivan, April Bethea and Kerry Singe contributed.

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