Changes at RDU could impact holiday travel

Posted November 22, 2011
Updated November 23, 2011

— The holiday travel season in under way at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and changes, both to the terminal at RDU and to Transportation Security Administration screening procedures, could make traveling a little more complex.

Traffic flow map Check roads, flights for holiday travel

More than 200,000 people are expected to travel through the airport between Tuesday and Nov. 28. Duke University sophomore Tim Johnson is one of them.

“I’m going to Chicago, going home for Thanksgiving,” Johnson said Tuesday. 

US Airways, Continental and Jet Blue have moved to the new Terminal 2. Air Tran and Southwest Airlines are still located in Terminal 1, but the tunnel from the parking lot to Terminal 1 is closed for renovation.

There is a covered walkway at ground level that leads passengers from the garage to the terminal.

Changes to the security screening process, especially for children, could actually make getting to the gate a little easier. Children under 12 are now allowed to leave their shoes on throughout the screening process.

RDU changes could impact holiday travel RDU changes could impact holiday travel

TSA officials have also upgraded body scanners to ease concerns about what screeners can see under clothing.

“It is a generic gingerbread image, and it is the same for every individual,” RDU spokeswoman Mindy Hamlin said.

Aside from those small changes, the security screening process is the same. Valuables and medications should be kept in carry-on luggage. Coats, shoes and belts must be removed in the security line for everyone over 12 years old.

Laptops must be removed from cases, and liquids must still be contained in three-ounce containers inside a one-quart clear Ziploc bag.

As always, airport officials recommend passengers arrive at RDU at least two hours before their flight is scheduled to board. Many airlines begin boarding flights at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

Johnson said planning ahead makes the process easier for everyone.

“I try to make sure I have my boarding pass, my ID,” he said. “I try to make sure people aren’t waiting for me.”

Airport officials say the busiest travel days will be Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by Saturday and Sunday. Peak travel times occur from 5 to 8 a.m. and from 3 to 7 p.m.

RDU has a complete list of tips designed to make traveling easier on its website.

For those taking to the roads, the state Department of Transportation suggests use of a smart phone to avoid delays. The DOT publishes alerts for highway, ferry and train traffic for mobile devices. On Twitter, the DOT offers updates by route and by region.


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  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Nov 23, 2011

    I was flying out of RDU a couple of months ago and I was randomly selected to be felt up by the TSA.

    When the TSA agent reached up and cupped my genitals, I asked him loudly if it was good for him too.

    With everybody around staring at him, he quickly stopped feeling me up and sent me on my way.

    What happened to the constitution and the concept of human dignity in the United States of America.

  • Sherlock Nov 23, 2011

    I was traveling the other day and I observed that service personnel do not have to remove their belts or boots, why is this? I do support this action and believe that it should be the same for all travelers..

  • tbajr Nov 22, 2011

    Homeland Security should be named Homeland Gestapo. Not only are
    they unconstitional, but immoral. Welcome to the New World Order!

  • Remy Nov 22, 2011

    "I was up in NJ Newark EWR and on the trip to RDU nobody was asked to remove their belts, only at RDU.

    Wonder why they do not have a standard?"

    It is not only at RDU. I travel frequently and have always been told to remove belts, etc. No wonder EWR has such as bad crime rate!

  • mrxdimension Nov 22, 2011

    americaneel: "The lawyer has spoken and so shall it be..."
    IANAL, but I'll pray for you and them.

  • americaneel Nov 22, 2011

    mrxdimension...The lawyer has spoken and so shall it be...

  • americaneel Nov 22, 2011

    SueInNC...You had something in the back of your pants? Ill bet they all got a laugh out of that

  • mrxdimension Nov 22, 2011

    james27613: "Wonder why they do not have a standard?"

    We have a standard. The Constitution says you can't do this, at all, without probable cause, A judge may issue a search warrant in a limited sense based on probable cause.

  • james27613 Nov 22, 2011

    I was up in NJ Newark EWR and on the trip to RDU nobody was
    asked to remove their belts, only at RDU.

    Wonder why they do not have a standard?

  • Pseudonym Nov 22, 2011

    Quote from SueInNC: " I had to wait about 2-2.5mins behind a guy with laceup shoes...what a pain."

    Did that 2 minute 30 second delay make you miss your flight? If it did, next time get there earlier.