Local News

Airport Jammed With Holiday Travelers

Posted November 26, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— No matter how much fun holiday get-togethers can be, getting to them and from them can be an exercise in frustration. Between now and Sunday, 32 million Americans will make a trip somewhere.

The lucky ones may be those whose relatives are making the trip to visit them. If you're one of those, you may have extra time to stuff the turkey, because they might be late.

Officials estimate that, by the end of the day Wednesday, 28,000 people will have flown out of RDU International Airport. Parking, as one might guess, is at a premium. Officials say the best advice they can give to travelers throughout the weekend is to allow plenty of extra time.

As anyone who has traveled on Thanksgiving weekend can attest, holiday travel can be hectic. Traveler Monica Gaughan said she lost quite a bit of time looking for a space.

Those having the best luck are leaving their cars in one of RDU's four park-and-ride lots, taking a shuttle to the terminal. Many lots were already full by 5 p.m. Wednesday, but workers had just finished putting the finishing touches on Lot four, the newest and largest lot with 1,000 spaces.

Airport Spokesperson Rick Martinez says the smartest thing to do is head straight for park-and-ride, Lot four.

The one place you don't want to park is along the curb just outside the terminal. Airport police are strictly enforcing the no-parking policy there. Violaters' cars could be towed. Pulling to the curb to unload is allowed.

Editor's Note:

By the end of the holiday weekend more than 5.4 million Americans will have flown to or from somewhere.

Hub airports get hit with the worst of the holiday rush. Chicago is the nation's busiest.

The next four, in order, are Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Photographer:Robert Meikle andKerrie Hudzinski