RDU Could Break 2019 Record This Week

Sunday May Top Single-Day High:

RDU expects 332,950 passengers to pass through the airport on their way to see family and friends during Thanksgiving week. That represents a 14% increase over 2019 – the busiest year on record at RDU. The busiest travel days over Thanksgiving week are expected to be Wednesday (55,372 passengers) and Sunday (59,628 passengers). Sunday’s total could break the single-day record set in 2019 by 9%.

“We always enjoy the opportunity at RDU to connect our guests with their loved ones over the holidays,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “We will be working hard to provide every traveler with a convenient, world-class experience amid the hustle of what’s expected to be a record week. We encourage everyone flying over the holidays to take steps to make their travel experience as smooth as possible, including arriving at the airport at least a couple of hours before their scheduled departure.”

As always, RDU recommends passengers give themselves plenty of time to check in, go through security and get to their gate on time. Arriving at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights is suggested. Travelers are encouraged to book parking at parkrdu.com at least 24 hours in advance of their trip to guarantee entry into the parking facility of their choice. RDU also opened the upper and lower levels of Terminal 2 for passenger pickup to reduce congestion on the curb.

TSA Tips: TSA recorded the heaviest passenger screening volume in its history on the Sunday following Thanksgiving in 2019, when nearly 2.9 million passengers were screened at checkpoints nationwide.

Travelers should keep these top tips in mind before arriving at the airport:

  1. Pack smart. Prepare for security when packing for your trip and be aware of what can go in carry-on or checked bags – ensure there are no prohibited items.
  2. Do not bring firearms or other weapons to the checkpoint. Passengers are prohibited from packing firearms in carry-on luggage. However, they are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage, as long as they are properly packaged and declared at the airline ticket counter.
  3. Bring an acceptable ID. Before heading to the airport, travelers should make sure they have acceptable identification.
  4. Be a Trusted Traveler. The TSA PreCheck® program offers expedited security screening at the airport, connecting low-risk passengers with a more efficient air travel experience.
  5. Request passenger support. Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and/or medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll free at 855-787-2227 at least 72 hours prior to travel with any questions about screening procedures.
  6. Ask TSA. Get your questions answered before you head to the airport. Travelers can get assistance in real time by submitting their questions and comments to @AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger.
  7. See Something. Say Something™. Public awareness remains a key element in transportation security. Vigilant travelers who report suspicious activity help keep people and goods moving through the nation’s transportation network.
  8. Practice good cybersecurity habits. Those who are traveling – whether domestically or internationally – should continue to practice safe online behaviors.
  9. Show gratitude to frontline workers. Thank someone who serves at the frontline of transportation.