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Holiday Travel Challenge: Finding Parking Space at RDU International

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RDU INTERNATIONAL — More than 250,000 people are expected to travel through RDU International Airport over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Everybody wants to leave on Wednesday; everybody wants to come home on Sunday. It is by far the most concentrated travel holiday in the U.S.

With only 10,000 public parking spaces, it is clear that parking will be tight.

The airport authority says the best way to beat the Thanksgiving travel parking rush is to ride with a friend. They have other suggestions as well, many of which are applicable at other airports across the country.

If more air passengers had someone drop them off, and then pick them up after the return trip, the holiday would be a lot less hassle.

If you have to drive, pay attention to the electronic signs.The messages will direct you to the nearest available parking.

And be sure to leave early for the airport. The recommendation this year: get to the airport two hours before your flight.

The Park and Ride lots will fill up fast.

How about the new parking deck that was supposed to be ready six months ago?

It is still not finished, but the end is in sight. It won't be ready for Thanksgiving, but, if all goes well, there's a slim chance it will be ready for Christmas.

Thanksgiving travelers will need to pack their patience.

Passenger traffic is up, and fares are down. This will most likely be the busiest Thanksgiving in RDU history.

WRAL-TV5 News will provide updates on the airport parking situation each night through the Thanksgiving holiday. You can also call RDU's 24-hour parking hotline at919-840-2110.