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Record crowds expected at RDU for Thanksgiving travel

Posted November 20, 2017 6:11 a.m. EST
Updated November 20, 2017 1:10 p.m. EST

— Preparations are already underway at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Monday for one of the busiest travel seasons yet.

According to AAA, the 2017 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005, with nearly 51 million Americans journeying 50 miles or more away from home.

While many of them will take a variety of different transportation options, RDU is ready for the crowds. Airport officials are encouraging travelers to check their flights before they leave home and arrive with more than the usual amount of time to get to their gates.

According to officials, more than 200,000 customers will be traveling through the airport this year, which is expected to beat all crowd records. More than 500,000 people will be in the terminals, including those meeting and greeting loved ones.

Many RDU visitors will be pleased to know that parking modifications will be complete before the travel week.

"We started [parking enhancements] in early spring," said Kristie Vanauken with the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. "They have been able to get that work done so effectively and so quickly that we were able to get the project finished by this holiday deadline."

Which days will be the busiest at the airport during Thanksgiving? Wednesday morning and Sunday evening, officials said.