Thanksgiving travel rush begins with long lines at RDU

24November 2021

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — Long lines formed Wednesday morning at Raleigh Durham International Airport.

As experts predicted, Wednesday morning at the airport looked like a scene from before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic–minus the throngs of people wearing masks, of course.

WATCH: Time-lapse video shows massive lines at RDU at 5 a.m. Wednesday

Lines at the terminal between check-in and security, wrapped around the inside of the building multiple times. Fortunately, the line appeared to be moving swiftly.

RDU Airport Authority said 234,000 people are expected to make their way through both terminals this week, with the Sunday after Thanksgiving being the busiest travel day.

SEE ALSO | Pandemic holiday travel 2.0: How to navigate Thanksgiving this year

Parking lots at RDU are also expected to be at or near capacity before the end of Wednesday.

Meanwhile, roads in and around central North Carolina will also see a surge of travelers.

AAA predicts 48.3 million Americans will travel on the roads this Thanksgiving holiday season.

Raleigh Police Department and North Carolina State Highway Patrol will be out in force this weekend enforcing speed limits and other traffic laws.

AAA suggests drivers travel after 9 p.m. Wednesday or before 11 a.m. Thursday, if they want to try and avoid the worst of the traffic. From Friday-Sunday, the group suggests leaving as early as possible.

SEE ALSO | RDU raises parking prices ahead of busy holiday travel season

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