Travelers greeted with long lines, missed flights at RDU amid Memorial Day surge

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Travelers at Raleigh-Durham International Airport hoping to catch a quick flight out of town for a long weekend had a rude awakening Thursday morning.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Ryan Duell.  “I’m just trying to get out and enjoy my weekend.”

On one of the busiest travel days RDU has experienced since the start of the pandemic, travelers were greeted with long lines and missed flights.

“This is completely unorganized,” said Christie Herman.

“I’ve been here for like an hour and a half waiting to check my bag and go through the line,” said Duell.

Many of the travelers said that technology is partially to blame for their problems.

“The kiosk wasn’t working,” said Herman.  “American Airlines had no clue how to even fix the kiosk.”

“They say there’s no issue,” said Duell.  “Even the priority line is moving slow, so I don’t know what’s going on.”

“We’re going to miss our flight to Philadelphia,” said Herman.  “We’re trying to get from Philadelphia to Punta Cana, and we’re about to throw out $3000.”

At the American Airlines counter, there were only two customer service reps actively rebooking passengers, so some travelers stood in line for three hours looking for answers.

“They said this is every day,” Herman.

An RDU spokesman told CBS 17 that each airline is responsible for their own staffing, but the crowds were typical for holiday travel.

“There’s nothing I can really do so I don’t want to get too riled up about it,” said Duell.

“This is Memorial Day weekend,” said Herman.  “You should’ve planned for this!”

An American Airlines spokesperson said the long lines were due to a systemwide IT upgrade to their kiosks and plane maintenance that took longer than expected.

CBS 17 also reached out to JetBlue, but we have not heard back.

An RDU spokesman says they are opening additional parking lots that you can book online to try and keep up with traveler demand. Availability of parking spots can be checked online.

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