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Thanksgiving Creates Parking Crunch at RDU

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RALEIGH — You had better take the holiday spirit to the airport with you. The Thanksgiving rush is on at RDU, and Thanksgiving is days away.

The airport is already fighting a parking crunch, and by Thursday, finding a place to park could be tough.

RDU officials say they will not completely run out of parking this week, but they say they are going to come close.

They say your best bet is to have someone drop you off at the airport. If you do have to drive, you had better leave early.

Traveling during the holidays can be hectic enough without worrying about where to park.

"Right now, the way they have it set up with all the various lots, with one bus per lot, is a nightmare," said one traveler.

This holiday travel season is expected to be one of the biggest in RDU's history. The 11,000 spots between the terminals will fill up fast.

Airport officials also expect park and ride lots 1, 2 and 3 to max out by noon on Tuesday.

"When that happens, we will be directing all the people that are coming to the airport to parking lot 4. That parking is located on the north end of the airport across from the cargo facilities," said Mike Blanton of the RDU Airport Authority.

You could save yourself the hassle of searching for a space by parking at one of the private lots near the airport.

They will give you a lift to the airport terminal, and when you come back, your car will be ready and waiting with the lights on and the engine running.

"We are hassle-free. We have enough room for everybody. We'll get you to the airport within five or ten minutes," said Donald Spruill of VIP Parking.

RDU is expecting 200,000 passengers this week. All of that traffic might slow you down, so experts suggest you leave two hours before your flight.

"That'll give them the chance to find a place the park, get their baggage off, fetch the shuttle up to the terminals and get through ticketing," said Blanton.

The universities are also running shuttles, so airport officials suggest that if you are a student, you take one of those shuttles.


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