RDU Holiday Travel Guide

Wherever you’re headed, we’re proud to connect you to the people and places that matter most.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport is where joy takes flight this season! Here, you’ll find information and resources to ensure you have stress-free travel wherever you’re headed for the holidays!

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The Basics

Terminals, Ticketing, and TSA Info

  • RDU has two terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Terminal 1 is home to Southwest Airlines, Terminal 2 is home to all other airlines that serve RDU.
  • Ticket counters open at 4 a.m.
  • TSA Security Screen opens at 4:30 a.m. — visit our comprehensive security screening tips page to help you navigate the screening process.
  • ParkRDU lots are open 24/7 — all lots offer both hourly and daily rates.

Look below for Travel Tips and Helpful Resources

Departing and Arriving at RDU

Departing/Arriving at RDU

Planning your great adventure? Plan each step of your journey to ensure the best experience when flying from or into Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Departing From RDU

Arrive at least 2 hours before your flight.  Did you know? Most airlines begin boarding 30-45 minutes before departure. Arrive early to start your journey stress-free!

What time does it open?

  • ParkRDU lots are open 24/7
  • Airline ticket counters generally open at 4 a.m.
  • The TSA Security Checkpoint opens at 4:30 a.m.
  • The Shops of RDU are open from 4:30 a.m. through last departing flights

Parking made easy. You can’t find closer, better parking than our Premier, Central and Economy lots.

Be ready for the TSA checkpoint/ security screening

Relax before your flight!

Assistance is available. Find out about traveling with disabilities from RDU.

Arriving at RDU

Make curbside pick-up easy and stress-free

  • RDU has a free Cell Lot located near I-40
  • Claim your bags before telling your ride to head to the terminal curb

Find assistance when you arrive

  • Find RDU information desks in bag claim of each terminal
  • Information desks are staffed from 5:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. every day

Complete your journey with ground transportation

  • Rental Cars use a shuttle system, just outside of bag claim
  • Uber/Lyft are available at RDU

Travel Tips & Resources

Tips for Traveling Through RDU

Below, find tips to allow a low-stress start to your vacation or trip!

Before You Travel
As you prepare for your flight, remember these tips:

  • Most airlines limit carry-on items to one bag and one personal item
  • Clearly label all luggage
  • Bring a government-issued ID that matches your name on your ticket.
  • Be prepared for the TSA security checkpoint.
  • Wait to wrap gifts until you arrive at your destination.
  • Transporting firearms? Contact your airline for the correct procedure.

Arriving At RDU For Your Flight

  • Arrive at RDU at least two hours before domestic flights to allow for parking, airline check-in and security. Contact your airline for requirements for international travel.
  • The terminal curbs are only for cars loading or unloading passengers.
  • Use ParkRDU Premier or Central to accompany someone indoors.
  • Sports equipment, such as golf clubs, lacrosse sticks, tennis rackets and pool cues, must be checked as luggage.

Meeting/Picking-Up Someone?

Traveling With Children

  • When traveling with children, please allow extra time for check in and proceeding through the security checkpoint.
  • Prepare children by explaining the security process ahead of time.
  • Children, as well as adults, must undergo screening.
  • All child-related equipment must either go through the x–ray machine or be inspected by a checkpoint screener.
  • Please contact your airline for ID requirements for children.
  • Airlines may grant permission for an adult to accompany a child traveling alone to the gate. Check with your airline for details.
  • Pack activities for children such as coloring books, crayons or reading material.

Traveling with Pets

  • Learn about traveling with service animals.
  • Check with your airline concerning their policies on traveling with pets.
  • Animals traveling in the passenger cabin must be screened at the security checkpoint.
  • You may walk your animal through the metal detector with you. If this is not possible, your animal will have to undergo a secondary screening, including a visual and physical inspection.
  • You may be asked to remove your animal from its carrier so that the carrier can be placed on the screening equipment.
  • Pet relief areas are located outside Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

Parking Info:


Raleigh-Durham International Airport’s Official Parking Program

ParkRDU provides easy, convenient options allowing you to choose your experience. Select from a variety of short-term or long-term products, meeting various budget needs. See our product comparison below to choose your parking option. Have you parked with us before? If so, tell us about your experience.

Travel between ParkRDU facilities with ease by watching our navigation videos.

ParkRDU options are fully-accessible for people with disabilities.

 Learn more about Yellow In & Out for entry and exit.

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