Thanksgiving Marks Busiest Week of Pandemic at RDU 

Travelers Encouraged to Arrive Early

When Flying Over the Holidays:

More than 246,000 travelers flew through RDU from Monday through Sunday of Thanksgiving week, exceeding expected passenger traffic by more than four percent.  Traffic recovered to nearly 86% of 2019 levels, representing the single busiest week at RDU since the onset of the pandemic.   

“The Thanksgiving holiday helped RDU set another pandemic-era record for monthly passenger traffic,” said Michael Landguth, president & CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “We expect an increasingly robust recovery to continue as we welcome holiday travelers in December.” 

More than 943,000 passengers traveled through RDU in the month of November, compared to nearly 362,000 in November of 2020, a year-over-year increase of 161%. 

The omicron variant of COVID-19 does not appear to have put a damper on travel over the holidays, but it has the potential to impact demand and ticket sales in the new year.   

Holiday Parking: RDU has prepared contingency parking for the busy travel weeks of late December and early January. Guests who arrive to find the parking deck closed to drive-up customers or the Economy 3 lot full will be redirected to Economy 4. RDU recommends guests check parking availability at before coming to the airport and reference the electronic signs on campus to learn which options are available. Parking can also be reserved online in advance for the lowest rate available and guaranteed entry into their lot of choice. 

New Sheetz: Under a new agreement with the Authority, Sheetz will demolish its existing building and carwash at Aviation Parkway at National Guard Drive and build a new, larger Sheetz store that includes a drive-through. The agreement has an initial term of fifteen years with two, five-year option periods. Sheetz will pay rent to the Authority along with a share of revenue share on all inside sales. 

UPS Revenue: UPS Supply Chain Solutions, Inc. (UPS-SCS) will move from a month-to-month lease with the Authority to a multi-year agreement consistent with rents paid by other North Cargo tenants. UPS-SCS is a business within the United Parcel Service entity that provides logistics, warehousing and distribution, and freight forwarding services at RDU. The new lease could generate an additional $300,000 for the Authority over the length of the agreement.