Local News

Thousands Pack Airport for Holiday Travel

Posted December 19, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— If your heading over a river or "above" the woods to Grandmother's house for the holidays, you'd better leave early for the airport. Parking problems and long lines are meeting travelers at RDU International.

On a normal day at RDU, planes fly at about 60% occupancy. Friday, that percentage jumped to 90% or better, just about as busy as the day before Thanksgiving. Those numbers translated into long lines and short tempers.

If you thought the hard part was getting work behind you before heading out for the holidays, you may have another thing coming. Travelers told WRAL they were having a hard time getting on stand-by.

Business is bustling at baggage checks and bursting at the seams in ticket lines. With all of the holiday travelers in Terminal "C," it's been difficult for many to keep the holiday spirit.

Traveler Mark Reardon says the Friday airport experience has been more than frustrating. He admits no one apologized for the delays or the long lines.

Jan Carrier came from Angier to get her son on a plane to Dallas. She didn't expect a Texas-sized wait. Carrier says all she can do is wait and hope her son makes the flight.

To add insult to injury, there were a lot of mechanical delays Friday and even some flight cancellations on flights to Dallas and Miami. If you're heading to the airport, you're advised to park in the parking lot number three. It's reportedly far less crowded than the others.