RDU Experiences Bump in Traffic Over Thanksgiving Holiday

Every year, airports and airlines eagerly await passenger data from the Thanksgiving holiday travel period. With airline passenger numbers trending 70% below the same period a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines were hopeful that pent-up demand and increased travel flexibility would incentivize Americans to fly over the Thanksgiving holiday, leading several airlines to fly larger planes and more frequency last week.

TSA screened 51,333 total departing passengers for the week of Monday, Nov. 23 – Sunday, Nov. 29. The combined departing and arriving passengers for the week totaled approximately 103,000. That represents a 12% increase over the previous week and a 64% decline over the same holiday week in 2019. TSA has not provided single-day passenger screening totals.

Last week’s traffic volume was the highest RDU has seen since the pandemic grounded planes and virtually halted travel beginning in mid-March. Despite a rise in active COVID-19 cases across the United States, new RDU survey data confirms that traveler confidence in the safety of air travel continues to rise, affording the public opportunities to visit loved ones or travel to holiday destinations with increased peace of mind during challenging times.