Thanksgiving travelers will find gas prices and the availability of parking at Raleigh-Durham International Airport have improved lately.
Let’s start with gas. The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded in North Carolina was about $2.52 on Monday morning, about 20 cents cheaper than a month ago, according to AAA. Growing global oil production and slightly weaker demand are helping drive prices down, AAA says, though they remain about 13 cents a gallon higher than they were a year ago.
As for parking at RDU, over the weekend the airport reopened nearly 1,200 spaces in Economy Lot 3 that had been closed since the summer for repaving. With about a third of the spaces in the park-and-ride lot unavailable, Economy 3 and the airport’s central garage often filled up this fall, leaving travelers only Economy Lot 4 on the north side of the airport.
“It’s been tough,” RDU spokesman Patrick Glace said. “But we’re looking forward to having our entire parking capacity available for holiday travel.”
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The repaving of John Brantley Boulevard, the road that loops through the RDU campus between the terminals and the parking deck, has also been put on hold for the holidays. Repaving work on the road and Economy Lot 3 will resume in April, after winter weather has passed.
Even with all of the lots open, parking may be tight at RDU. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel weeks of the year, with nearly 250,000 passengers expected to pass through RDU, airport officials say. Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday are expected to be especially hectic.
RDU officials are encouraging people to reserve their parking spot in advance at parkrdu.com, the new online reservation system the airport has been testing since early this summer. Booking a spot 24 hours in advance guarantees travelers a space in the lot of their choice, though they’ll still need to give themselves time to find a spot, park and get to the terminal.
For more information about parking at RDU, including rates and availability of spots, go to www.rdu.com/parking/.