Busy Memorial weekend travel rush begins at RDU

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Friday, May 26, 2023
Busy Memorial weekend travel rush begins at RDU
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RDU expects more than 225,000 travelers over the 3-day holiday weekend, which is a 20% increase in traffic.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A very busy travel weekend is upon us and if you plan to go somewhere via RDU expect some long lines.

Many people begin their holiday weekends early by leaving today.

TSA predicts the busiest day to travel will be on Friday.

Friday and Monday will be the busiest days of the long weekend, with nearly 49,000 passengers on Friday and more than 44,000 traveling on Monday.

Nationwide they're expecting to screen about 2.6 million passengers.

Last year RDU expected to see nearly 140,000 passengers over the 3 day holiday weekend. This year they expect 225,000 passengers which is a 20% increase.

Leaders credit the 20% increase of travelers from last year to the growth they've seen and addition of airlines

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This year they're expected to see a double digit increase.

A big issue last summer was a surge in flight cancellations and delays.

Airlines have hired about 30,000 workers since then, including thousands of pilots.

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They are also using bigger planes to reduce flights.

ABC11 spoke with Jennifer Fletcher who doesn't let the crowds get to her even though the holiday weekend falls on her birthday.

"I don't let travel stress me. Sometimes it is busy sometimes it's not and it's fine as long as you get to the destination,"

Leaders at RDU suggest getting here early for your flight as always and booking a parking spot in advance.

Lydia Grace Penny was returning from a mission trip in South East Asia Thursday night.

"It's hard to sum it up in words 5 seconds...I think I learned what it looks like to walk in greater intimacy with the Lord...to love others well, I'm excited to bring that back to others,' she said. "I love the different cultures and people. They're all so kind."

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol estimates that 37 million people will travel on the roads over the weekend. The SHP is partnering with the NC Governor's Highway Safety Program's Click It or Ticket campaign that will go through May 28.

Susan Sheppard, who lives in Lynchburg, Virginia, says the roads were good Thursday on her trip to Oak Island with her family.

"Picked a good time to come through Raleigh, nice that the construction on the far side is now done," she said. "The weekend doesn't look amazing no it does not but it's okay our family will be there so we're good."