35K travelers expected to come through RDU today, 1.4 million expected on NC roads

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Wednesday is the busiest day of the year for travel as millions of people get on the roads and in the air for Thanksgiving.

Nearly 35,000 travelers are expected to come through Raleigh-Durham International Airport today, officials said.

RELATED: RDU travelers file hundreds of complaints against TSA

With the addition of several new flights this past year, it could be the most travelers coming through RDU in a single day. That’s why travelers are asked to arrive at the airport at least two hours early for their flight. People are also encouraged to check parking lot statuses as parking may be a headache.

Denise Gonzalez is flying to Florida to be with her boyfriend for the holiday weekend.

“I’m meeting his family for the first time so this, yes, it’s really awesome. I’m so excited,” Gonzalez said.

And they’re just not celebrating Thanksgiving, they’re celebrating a wedding, too.

“We’re doing Thanksgiving, the wedding’s on Saturday, then we’re going to Orlando and we’re going to do the whole Mickey Mouse thing,” she said.

Airport officials said they were hoping a new customer-friendly parking system would be online by now, but travelers will have to wait a little longer as the airport looks for a new company to help get the online system up and running.

“We are going to take a step back. We are going to reevaluate the program and move forward with confidence that we can provide this with another vendor to our customers,” said Andrew Sawyer, the RDU Airport corporate communications coordinator.

Some travelers said they were disappointed that the system isn’t running yet.

“It needs to be up. Especially this time of year. It’s booming here now. People going in and going out can save a lot of money,” said Barry Williams from Rich Square.

RELATED: RDU taking a step back to get online parking system ready

Another traveler said the system needs to be up and running now.

“People come in all of the time. Imagine people who fly and travel a lot who are missing out on this opportunity to come in have their parking already done and then come back out. I think they definitely need this future tool or app that’s not here yet into existence now,” said Raleigh resident Arthur Brown.

While the airport will be busy, so will the roads.

AAA projects 1.4 million North Carolinians will hit the road during the Thanksgiving travel period.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said most road construction projects will be suspended from Wednesday through Sunday to accommodate the increase in traffic.

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