Flying out for Thanksgiving? Get there early

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Flying out for Thanksgiving? Get there early
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Raleigh Durham International Airport

RALEIGH DURHAM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (WTVD) -- Flyers can expect lots of company at airports. RDU officials and the TSA are expecting a record number of travelers for Thanksgiving.


More than a 168,000 people are expected to travel through Raleigh Durham International Airport.

"We're busier than ever here at RDU and because of all the new flights. We're expected the terminals to be quite busy, and we would recommend that customers arrive at least two hours before their flight," said spokesperson Kristie van Auken.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is typically the busiest. Airport officials are bracing for a crowd of more than 33,000.


Most people return from their holiday vacation on Sunday. 34,500 people are expected to return to the Triangle.

The TSA tells ABC11 the agency is deploying more resources to RDU for the holidays. They wouldn't get into specifics for security reasons.

"Air carriers continue to experience record travel volume in what has been a record-setting year at our nation's airports, with some of the busiest travel days still ahead. To prepare for this upcoming holiday season, TSA is working closely with airport and airline partners, and is taking other measures including deploying more canines, providing overtime, ensuring full-time staffing, and providing additional support at high volume airports," said TSA spokesperson Michael England.

On the nationwide level, TSA is adding 1,400 new officers, converting 2,000 part-time employees to full-time, and bringing in 50 to 60 new canine teams.