Thanksgiving Travel Breaks RDU Passenger Record

Sunday Saw Highest Volume of Passengers in RDU History

RDU set a single-day record for passenger traffic on Sunday, December 1, with an all-time high of approximately 54,800 passengers traveling through the airport. The Sunday after Thanksgiving edged out May 13 – the day after Mother’s Day and college graduations – as the single busiest day in the airport’s history. The Monday following Mother’s Day is traditionally one of the busiest days of the year and held the previous record with 53,000 passengers in 2019.

Despite the crowds, 100% of passengers waited less than 30 minutes to get through the security checkpoint and 95% waited less than 15 minutes. TSA Pre-check lines moved even faster, with an average wait time of less than five minutes. RDU added two new lanes at the Terminal 2 checkpoint this year and plans to open two more next year to help keep passengers moving through security.

The busy holiday travel season is not over. This month could be the busiest December on record at RDU. Passengers should arrive at least two hours before their flight to navigate traffic on campus, find a parking space, check bags, get through security and to their gates on time. If travelers end up with a little extra time on their hands, they can use it to explore RDU’s award-winning stores and restaurants or go online with our new, free and faster Wi-Fi service.