RDU Airport, NC — Officials at Raleigh-Durham International Airport are preparing for the airport’s busiest Thanksgiving in four years. Nearly 300,000 people are expected to travel through RDU this holiday, marking a 15 percent increase over last year. The Thanksgiving travel period kicked off today and ends Monday, November 29.
Over the past year, airlines serving RDU have added 45 daily flights, increasing the number of seats available to holiday travelers.
The busiest travel days will be Tuesday, November 23, Wednesday, November 24, Thanksgiving morning, Sunday, November 28 and Monday, November 29.
Holiday helpers will be stationed throughout the terminals on these days to assist travelers and can be identified by their blue RDU t-shirts. Authority employees will also be located in the airport’s Park and Ride lots to help drivers locate their vehicles and assist with dead batteries, if needed.
Following are RDU’s top six tips for holiday travelers.
RDU officials are recommending passengers arrive at the airport at least two hours before their flight departs to give themselves plenty of time for parking, luggage check-in and security screening.
Follow the electronic signs to available parking.
RDU offers motorists over 11,000 spaces located within walking distance of the terminals. In addition, Park and Ride Lots 3 and 4 will be open. Additional remote parking will be open when all other parking spaces have been filled.
Pay for parking with ExitExpress.
Motorists parking between the terminals are reminded to avoid the lines at the exit plaza by paying for parking using ExitExpress. To use the automated payment program, motorists should keep their ticket with them and pay for parking before returning to their car. ExitExpress pay stations are located along the pedestrian walkways between the terminals and parking garages.
Print your boarding pass before leaving for the airport.
Passengers with Internet access can save time at check-in by print their boarding pass from the airline’s web site. Travelers who are not checking luggage can bypass the ticketing counter if they have printed out their boarding pass.
Use the airlines’ electronic kiosks.
Passengers with electronic tickets are encouraged to use their airline’s self-service kiosk to print boarding passes, choose seats and, where available, check luggage. Nine out of 10 airlines at RDU offer electronic check-in.
Be prepared for security checkpoint.
Before proceeding through security checkpoint, travelers should remove coats, jackets, blazers and shoes. All metal objects should be placed in carry-on luggage. These items include cell phones, pagers, keys, large amounts of jewelry, large belt buckles and coins.
Other tips for security checkpoint include:
Keep boarding passess and photo IDs on hand until you have exited the security checkpoint.
Remove all knives, scissors and blades of any type or size from your carry-on luggage. If taking these items with you, place them in your checked luggage.
Leave gifts unwrapped, as they may need to be opened and are subject to search.
A complete list of holiday travel tips can be found at www.rdu.com.