RDU expects big crowds this Labor Day weekend, especially on Friday

If you’re flying out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport this weekend, you might want to give yourself some extra time to catch your flight.

RDU expects an unusually large number of travelers will pass through the airport over the Labor Day weekend, particularly on Friday. More than 45,000 passengers are expected at RDU on Friday, about 10,000 more than a typical day, said spokeswoman Stephanie Hawco.

And if you haven’t caught a morning flight in a while, be sure to get to the airport early. About a quarter of the scheduled departures leave RDU by 8 a.m., which in recent months has caused long lines at the TSA security checkpoint in Terminal 2 starting about 5 a.m.

“We recommend that passengers arrive two hours early to allow enough time to navigate traffic, find parking and get through security checkpoints,” RDU’s president and CEO, Michael Landguth, said in a statement.

Travelers can eliminate some uncertainty by booking a parking space in advance, at The airport is providing further incentive by offering Labor Day discounts for parking spots paid for online in advance.

If you’ve noticed paint peeling from the ceilings in RDU’s main parking deck, the airport has hired a contractor to fix it — but not until after Labor Day. The repair work will require closing 1,150 parking spaces in the deck each week from September through mid-May, except for the weeks from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, when work will be suspended for the busy holiday travel season.

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer

Richard Stradling covers transportation for The News & Observer. Planes, trains and automobiles, plus ferries, bicycles, scooters and just plain walking. Also, #census2020. He’s been a reporter or editor for 32 years, including the last 20 at The N&O. 919-829-4739,