Local News

Flying for the Fourth? Here's what to expect at RDU

Posted July 2, 2020 11:28 a.m. EDT
Updated July 9, 2020 8:59 p.m. EDT

— Raleigh-Durham International Airport has changed some protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19. If you haven't flown since the coronavirus pandemic, here are some changes that the airport says you should expect when traveling.

  • Passengers will now place their boarding pass on a boarding pass reader. Then, they will hold their boarding pass and show it a TSA Agent, as opposed to handing it the agent for inspection.

  • Travelers should place their carry-on food items into a clear plastic bag. Separating the food from carry-on bags "lessens the likelihood" that an agent will need to open the food and check it.

  • There will be fewer security lanes, because there are less people traveling right now.

  • TSA officers may be seen wearing eye protection and clear, plastic face shields.

  • Travelers are encouraged to check with their airline prior to their trip for specific COVID-19 related information.

RDU is also requiring travelers, visitors and employees to wear face masks in compliance with Gov. Roy Cooper's latest attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus. If you need a mask and are at RDU, here is where masks are available:

  • Ink by Hudson at Terminal 2, Gate D1
  • WRAL Travel Store at Terminal 2, Gate D5
  • City Market News at Terminal 2, Gate C8
  • Trip Advisor at Terminal 2, Gate C16
  • RDU Information Desks

The number of people passing through airport security checkpoints has been rising since mid-April, but it is still down 93% from a year ago.

For people who do decide to travel, there are still concerns. For example, American Airlines is now booking the middle seat, which was originally reserved to help maintain social distancing.

In July, there were 66% fewer available seats in July and 25% fewer in August compared to the same months in 2019, according to RDU.

Though travel is down, representatives with Delta and Southwest said they will continue to maintain social distancing.

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