RDU gearing up for busy holiday travel

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The airport expects at least 500 million travelers (WTVD)

We're approaching one of the busiest air travel periods of the year, with holiday crowds preparing for flights into and out of Raleigh Durham International airport.

"We're looking at more than half a million between now and the New Year's weekend," said airport spokesman Andrew Sawyer. "So we do anticipate a good number of people to fly this season from RDU."

Those flying out of RDU for the holidays should remember to get there early -- as much as two hours before a scheduled flight. As we get closer to Christmas, the lines at the security checkpoint will be much longer.

You can save yourself some time (if you're not checking baggage) with online advance check in, or use a kiosk at the airport to check yourself in, again, hours before your scheduled departure.

The minutes spent with TSA workers can seem like hours, if you're flagged for a more thorough inspection. RDU spokesperson Andrew Sawyer had recommendations for you that could help.

"Check out our holiday travel guide at rdu.com for security screening information, especially if you don't fly very often, Sawyer said. "We want you to be prepared for the security checkpoint experience."

That's a lesson already learned by Lorri Siemiaczka, who got to RDU from her eastern Wake County home well ahead of her mother's scheduled flight from Philadelphia.

"Always ahead of time," said Siemiaczka. Her proud mother chimed in: "I raised her right!"
Still, longer lines and some delays are likely as we approach the busy Christmas week. Not a problem for Larry Feingold, who welcomed his visiting little granddaughter with hugs and smiles on Sunday morning.

"Because we're getting together for such joyous occasions," he told ABC11. "We'll handle the lines!"

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