Local News

Despite Hassles, Business at RDU International Better Than Ever

Posted October 11, 1999

— RDU Internationalis bursting at the seams as more and more people travel through the airport. Despite rate hikes around the country, low fares out of RDU will keep this airport a busy hub.

The number of passengers flying out of RDU is growing at a record-setting rate thanks in part to Triangle growth and discount airlines.

One airline in particular is also helping to keep prices low despite increases around the country.

"Southwesthelps to keep the fares in check in cities they compete in. So if Southwest is not flying into a particular city from Raleigh-Durham, then those fares will not be kept in check," says travel agent Linda Bailey.

That is one of the reasons why the number of passengers has increased at RDU by 21 percent.

"We're close to three times the average that we've experienced in terms of passenger growth in recent years," says RDU spokesperson Mike Blanton.

The airport is trying to keep up. Even though the completion date of the new parking deck has been moved back several times, it is still slated to open in January.

Park and Ride lot 4, which used to be gravel and dirt, will be paved before the Thanksgiving travel rush.

Holiday traffic is expected to be at an all-time high, especially with the addition of three more airlines since last year -- two of which are discount airlines.

"We're expecting more people to take advantage of those low fares and travel and go home and see Grandma, and the family, and that kind of thing. So the holiday season this year will probably be the busiest we've ever had," says Blanton.

Park and Ride lot 3 will be doubled in size in about a year and a half. Blanton says the best advice for this holiday season is to book early and arrive early.

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