RDU prepares for busy Labor Day Weekend

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh-Durham International Airport is preparing for what authorities predict could be a turnaround weekend for the travel industry.

"We estimate that nearly 120,000 passengers will fly through RDU over the holiday weekend from Friday through Monday," said Crystal Feldman, vice president of communications at RDU Airport. "Friday is expected to be the busiest travel day, with more than 34,000 passengers traveling. Labor Day traffic is expected to be lower than the Fourth of July holiday, which falls within the height of the busy summer travel season. Corporate travel typically increases after Labor Day and offsets long losses and leisure traffic. But your business travelers are expected to return this year, potentially stunting the growth trend that already was experienced throughout 2021."

RDU and other airports count on travelers like the Wilson family, a couple and their young son flying to Greece for vacation.

"I'm feeling good! We did all the homework and prepared, looked up all the forms," said Jacob Wilson. "We're excited!"

Feldman said RDU "has traditionally had a healthy 50/50 mix of business and leisure travel, but we've seen steep declines in business travel throughout the pandemic. Business travel now accounts for about 30% of our passenger traffic."

She cites results from a recent survey conducted for RDU: "Customer confidence in the safety of air travel, doesn't just remain strong. It is increased, as more passengers, take to the skies. 79% of RDU survey respondents indicated they would feel safe traveling in RDU in August."

The Wilsons, masked and ready for international travel, said they felt safe as they headed for the TSA checkpoint.

'I think it's adequate! Seems like everybody's following the rules, and trying to do the right thing," Jacob Wilson said.
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