RDU Expects Triple-Digit Spike in Holiday Traffic

Authority to Make Parking Adjustments in Advance of Busy Travel Period:

RDU expects to welcome more than 234,000 passengers from Monday through Sunday of Thanksgiving week, a 129% increase over the same week in 2020. RDU anticipates Sunday being the busiest day of the week, with 44,000 people traveling in a single day.

“Our projections for Thanksgiving indicate RDU will be very busy as travelers take off to visit loved ones over the holiday,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “With larger crowds expected, we ask our guests to pack their patience and give themselves at least two hours to park, check in, get through security and get to their gate on time.”

Along with larger crowds in the terminals, guests should expect more cars in the parking deck and remote lot. RDU consolidated all public parking options into ParkRDU Central and Premier at the onset of the pandemic and significantly discounted the drive-up and online rates for all open facilities. Beginning this Friday, we are adjusting parking rates and putting changes into effect that will help us manage capacity while preserving a variety of options for our guests:

  • The drive-up and online rates for Central will be adjusted by $2 per day. The daily drive-up rate will be $15 and the daily online rate will be $12.
  • The online rate for Premier will also be adjusted by $2. Premier’s drive-up rate remains at $22 per day, the same rate RDU charged before the pandemic.
  • We are keeping the Economy 3 lot rate at $10 a day.
  • We are also moving airport employees out of the Economy 3 lot to make an additional 1,000 parking spaces available.

Airport guests can save money by reserving parking entry online while there are spaces available for the holidays. The best daily rates are always available at ParkRDU.com to encourage guests to book parking at least 24 hours in advance. RDU will honor the online rate for customers who booked their parking online prior to the rate change.

With passenger traffic recovering to 75% of 2019 levels, RDU must generate the income it needs to build for the future. The airport is reactivating several Vision 2040 capital projects to prepare for future growth, triggering a nearly $1.8 billion 10-year program that can’t be deferred amid significant economic and population growth. RDU must also manage substantial increases in labor and material prices that are driving up the cost of construction.

RDU will continue to review parking trends, rates and promotions to help manage parking capacity and is prepared to open additional lots if needed.