RDU Expects Labor Day Spike in Passenger Traffic

Passenger Confidence in Air Travel Increases

RDU anticipates nearly 120,000 passengers will fly through the airport between the Friday and Monday of Labor Day weekend. Friday is expected to be the busiest day with more than 34,000 passengers traveling.

“Leisure travelers helped RDU recover at a robust pace during the summer months that are typically the busiest time of year for us,” said Crystal Feldman, Vice President of Communications, Government and Community Affairs at the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “As students return to school and leisure travel subsides, RDU’s seven-month growth streak may be on hold until the December holidays.”

Business travel historically increases after Labor Day and offsets losses in leisure traffic, but fewer business travelers are expected to return this year. That decline could stunt the growth trend RDU has experienced through the year to date. Labor Day passenger traffic is expected to be lower than the July 4th holiday, which falls at the height of the busy summer travel season.

A survey of RDU customers survey conducted this month demonstrates that confidence in the safety of air travel doesn’t just remain strong – it has increased as more passengers take to the skies.

  • 79% of RDU survey respondents indicated that they would feel safe traveling through RDU in August, up from 54% over RDU’s March survey. 51% of those respondents reported feeling “very safe,” up from 29% in March.
  • This month’s survey results support predictions that vaccinations would increase confidence in air travel. The percentage of RDU customers who “strongly agreed” that vaccines make traveling safer has increased from 29% to 51%.
  • When passengers were surveyed in March, 28% indicated they were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with another 63% saying they were partially vaccinated or intended to be vaccinated. Our August survey shows that 90% of RDU passengers surveyed are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and another 4% intend to be.

The health and safety of our guests remains our top priority at RDU. TSA has extended its mask mandate for airports until Jan. 18, 2022 and the stringent measures RDU put into effect last year remain in place in accordance with public health best practices.