Graduations and Mother’s Day Make For A Busy Weekend at RDU

Perhaps second only to Thanksgiving, the second weekend in May is typically the busiest period of time at RDU throughout the year. Over the course of the weekend, tens of thousands of travelers will pass through the airport with many more coming to pick up or drop off loved ones.

Graduation weekend at RDU is always a busy time.

Graduation weekend at RDU is always a busy time.

The main reason for the influx of passengers is that it’s graduation season in the Research Triangle Region. There are many colleges and universities located in our vicinity, and many of these institutions hold commencement ceremonies on Mother’s Day weekend.

Do you have plans to travel this weekend? Are you picking up loved ones from RDU? Here are a few tips to help make your experience easy this weekend!

Terminal 1 Is Now Open

AirTran and Southwest are in the new Terminal 1 at RDU. All other airlines are in Terminal 2. If you’re parking in the garage, you’ll access Terminal 1 via the reopened underground pedestrian tunnel. Share your thoughts on the new terminal by tagging #rdut1 in your social media posts!   

Park & Ride Changes

Park & Ride 4, located on the north side of the airport near Lumley Road, is temporarily closed for upgrades to the parking payment system. Park & Ride 3 is open, with plenty of spaces, just off I-40 at Exit 285. Shuttles run between the lot and terminal every 20 minutes. 

Arrive Early

We suggest giving yourself 90 minutes from the time you arrive at the airport until your scheduled departure time. 

Check Your Flight Status

Before heading to the airport, check your flight status at or on your phone at

Be Checkpoint Savvy

When approaching the checkpoint, have your ID out and ready. Also, take the contents of your pockets (and your belt) and put them in your carry-on bag until after you are screened. And, make sure you’re following the 3-1-1 rule on liquids. And don’t forget, shoes and outer coats must be off for screening.

Earn More Miles or Points

Did you know you can earn air miles, cash or rewards when you fly through RDU? When you park in the garage, dine at one of our restaurants or grab a magazine for the flight, you can rack up for your next trip. Learn more about Thanks Again.

Take It With You

Did you know all of the menu items from The Shops of RDU can be packaged to go with you to the gate or on the plane? Take advantage of this for those long flights.

Use our Cell Phone Lot

Picking up an arriving passenger? Remember parking on the curb in front of the terminals isn’t allowed. Use our Cell Phone Lot instead. It’s located in the Rental Car Area across from Advantage Rent-A-Car.

About Andrew Sawyer

Andrew Sawyer is the External Communication Specialist for the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority and is the main writer for RDU’s website, electronic communication and airport publications. He’s also the primary face behind RDU’s social media channels. Andrew also assists with many other things, from media relations to event planning. In fact, he has an advanced degree in "other duties as assigned."
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