Raleigh-Durham International Airport [RDU] – Ultimate Terminal Guide

Raleigh Durham International Airport

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Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is the main airport serving the Research Triangle of North Carolina. Over 14.2 million passengers traveled to and from the airport in 2019, an 11% increase to 2018.

As a focus city for Delta Air Lines, the airline accounted for around 30% of the passenger traffic and launched its inaugural flight to Paris-Charles de Gaulle in February 2020.

Quick Info

Airport: Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
Terminals: Terminals 1 and 2
Airport Address: 2400 John Brantley Blvd., Morrisville, NC 27560
Distance From Downtown Raleigh: 11 miles (18 km)
Distance From Downtown Durham: 10.5 miles (17 km)
Website: rdu.com
Phone Number: 919-840-2123
Annual Passengers: 14.2 million
Daily Arrivals and Departures: 600
Destinations: 52 domestic and 5 international destinations
Flight Information: Departures and arrivals info can be found here

Airlines Operating From RDU

Terminal 1

Terminal 2

RDU Airport Terminals

Raleigh Durham International Airport Parking Map
Raleigh Durham International Airport parking map. Image Credit: rdu.com

RDU consists of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 that are located on either side of the airport. The parking garages are in between the 2 terminals, and a looping road provides curbside access to both terminals, connecting to I-40 and I-540.

Rental car offices are located southwest of the terminals, along with the cell phone waiting lot.

Terminal 1

Raleigh Durham International Airport Terminal 1
Raleigh-Durham International Airport Terminal 1. Image Credit: Raleigh-Durham International Airport

Terminal 1 is a small terminal that is used by Southwest Airlines only for domestic flights. Terminal facilities are split across 2 levels, with ticketing, baggage claim, and ground transportation on the ground level and the security checkpoint and departures concourse on the upper level.

From the ground level, passengers can access a tunnel that leads to the parking garage and through to Terminal 2. The upper-level concourse has 9 gates numbered A1-A9 and a small selection of shops and restaurants.

Terminal 2

Raleigh Durham International Airport Terminal 2
Raleigh-Durham International Airport Terminal 2. Image Credit: Raleigh-Durham International Airport

Terminal 2 also operates across 2 levels, with baggage claim on the lower level along with access to ground transportation facilities. The ticketing area and the security checkpoint are located on the upper level leading through to the departures concourses.

There are 2 concourses on the upper level. Arriving from the security checkpoint, Concourse C is to the right and has 19 gates numbered C1, C3, C7 to C12, C14 to C18, and C20 to C25. There’s a good selection of shops and restaurants and an Admirals Club and Delta Sky Club opposite gate C3.

Concourse D is to the left and has 17 gates numbered D1, D3, D5, D6, and D8 to D20. There’s a good selection of shops and restaurants and a United Club across from gate D3.

Inter-Terminal Transport

Walking

Passengers can walk between the 2 terminals by taking the walkway through the terminal garage. Outside of Terminal 2, the walkway is accessible from an underground tunnel to the parking garage, and from outside Terminal 1, passengers can walk across John Brantley Boulevard. The walk takes 5 to 10 minutes between terminals.

Terminal Shuttle

Passengers can ride a shuttle bus between the 2 terminals that also runs to the economy parking lots. From Terminal 1 to Terminal 2, take the Lot 3 bus and from Terminal 2 to Terminal 2, take the Lot 4 bus.

Security and Customs at RDU

RDU has 2 security checkpoints with 1 located in both terminals. These are open from 4 a.m. and close at the last departure.

TSA PreCheck

There are dedicated TSA PreCheck lanes at both security checkpoints. Opening hours vary, so it’s best to check on the TSA website.

RDU has a TSA Enrollment Center in the baggage claim area near carousel 5. The office is open from Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Global Entry

Global Entry kiosks are located at RDU for expedited clearance of passengers arriving into the U.S. from international flights.

There’s no Global Entry Enrollment Center at RDU, with the closest located at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT).

Mobile Passport

RDU participates in Mobile Passport Control for U.S. citizens arriving on international flights.

RDU Airport Lounges

LoungeLocationOpening Hours*Day Pass Fee per Person**
American Airlines Admirals ClubTerminal 2, across from gate C3Sunday to Friday: 4:15 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday: 4:15 a.m. to 7 p.m.
$59
Delta Air Lines Sky ClubTerminal 2, across from gate C3Sunday to Friday: 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: 5 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
N/A
United ClubTerminal 2, across from gate D1 and D3Daily: 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.$59
USO LoungeTerminal 2, ticketing level near StarbucksOpen 24 hoursN/A

*Hours are subject to change without notice. Lounge access may be restricted at times due to capacity.
**Day Pass for any passenger. Lounges marked as N/A only allow entry for eligible passengers in their premium cabins, frequent flyer programs, or participating credit card programs.

Hot Tip: Want lounge access, but don’t want to pay the entry fee? Check out the best personal and business credit cards that include complimentary airport lounge access.

Dining and Drinks at RDU

RDU has 22 restaurants, cafes, and fast-food counters throughout the airport. Both terminals have a Starbucks outside of the secure area, but all other dining facilities are post-security.

RDU Wi-Fi and Charging Points

RDU provides free Wi-Fi at all of its public areas, including gates and baggage claim. To connect, select “RDU Free WiFi” from the available networks.

Charging Points: Select seats throughout the airport have charging points, and these can also be found at gate areas.

RDU Airport Lost and Found

The department you will need to contact depends on where you lose the item:

Additional Airport Information

Information Services

Information counters are located in the baggage claim areas of Terminals 1 and 2. The Terminal 1 counter is staffed daily from 7 a.m. to midnight and the Terminal 2 counter from 5:30 a.m. to midnight.

Baby Facilities

RDU has 2 nursing rooms, located at:

  • Terminal 1: near gate A6
  • Terminal 2 near gate C8

Traveling With a Pet

RDU has 2 pet relief areas located at:

  • Terminal 1: outside the terminal at the north end
  • Terminal 2: lower level, outside the terminal at the north end

Smoking Areas

Smoking is permitted in the following locations:

  • Terminal 1: outside the terminal at either end of the building
  • Terminal 2:
    • Upper level, outside the terminal at the south end
    • Lower level, outside the terminal at either end of the building

Money

ATMs are located in the baggage claim areas and concourses at both terminals.

Foreign currency is available in the Terminal 2 ticketing lobby and in baggage claim.

Luggage Storage

There are no luggage storage facilities at RDU.

Important RDU Phone Numbers

Customer Service: 919-840-2123

Parking Services: 919-840-2140

Lost and Found: 919-840-7553

Travel to and From RDU

Transport Options

Train

There are no direct train services that operate from RDU, but passengers can connect to services at Raleigh.

Bus

The GoTriangle Route 100 bus operates between RDU and the Regional Transit Center located west of the airport. Buses depart from Terminal 1 between zones 2 and 3 and between zones 6 and 7 at Terminal 2.

Shuttles

  • Hotel Shuttles: Many hotels based in the Research Triangle region provide shuttle services to the airport. Shuttles operate from the red zones outside of the terminals.
  • Private and Shared Shuttles: These depart from the brown area outside baggage claim. The airport recommends these private ride shuttles and these shared-ride shuttles.

Taxi

Taxi ranks are available outside of both terminals. At Terminal 1, this is located outside of baggage claim at the north end of the terminal, and at Terminal 2, taxis are on the lower level outside the north end of the terminal.

Rideshare

Rideshare operators Uber, Lyft, and Wingz are authorized to operate from RDU. Drivers may pick up passengers from the prearranged services area that is located at zone 1 of Terminal 1 and zone 8 of Terminal 2.

Directions by Car to RDU

Arriving From Downtown Raleigh

Take Wade Avenue and merge onto I-40 West. Take exit 284 for Airport Boulevard towards RDU Airport and turn right onto Airport Boulevard for access to the terminals.

Arriving From Downtown Durham

Take NC-147 South and use the left 2 lanes to take exit 5A to merge onto I-40 East towards RDU Airport/Raleigh. Take exit 283 to merge onto I-540 E towards US-70. Take exit 2 for Aviation Parkway and merge onto Aviation Parkway for access to the terminals.

RDU Airport Parking Information

Raleigh Durham International Airport Parking Map
Raleigh-Durham International Airport parking map. Image Credit: Raleigh-Durham International Airport

ParkRDU Central

The ParkRDU Central lot is located directly between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. To reach the parking lot, passengers can walk through the underground tunnel from Terminal 1 and across John Brantley Boulevard from Terminal 2. Covered and uncovered parking is available for $2 per hour (for the first 4 hours) and $15 per day.

ParkRDU Premier

Premier parking is available on the ground level of the ParkRDU Central lot. Dedicated premier spaces are located closest to entrances and exit for the quickest access to the terminals. Parking is charged at $3 per hour (for the first 4 hours) and $22 per day.

ParkRDU Express

The ParkRDU Express lot is located northeast of the airport and provides uncovered, mid-range priced parking. A trunk-to-terminal shuttle service operates every 5 minutes with complimentary bottled water. The parking rates are $2 per hour (for the first 4 hours) and $12 per day.

ParkRDU Economy 3 and 4

ParkRDU Economy lots 3 and 4 are located a short distance from both terminals, and passengers may ride the courtesy shuttle buses that operate every 20 minutes. Economy lot 3 is at the south end of the airport, and Economy lot 4 is at the north end of the airport. Parking rates are:

  • ParkRDU Economy lot 3: $1 per hour (up to 4 hours on the day of entry) and $8 per day
  • ParkRDU Economy lot 4: $1 per hour (up to 4 hours on the day of entry) and $7 per day

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Parking

Visitors picking up passengers may want to wait in the cell phone waiting lot, located at 1000 Trade Drive, Morrisville, NC 27560. Visitors must remain with their vehicle until the passenger is ready for curbside pick up. The lot is a 3-minute drive from the terminals.

Hotel and Off-Airport Parking

Although RDU’s economy daily parking is some of the most expensive we’ve seen, you can book cheaper parking at off-airport parking lots and hotels.

Off-site parking can be booked at airportparkingreservations.com for as little as $4.50 per day.

Parking for Passengers With Disabilities

There are 310 accessible parking spaces across the airport’s parking lots, located closest to exits/entrances and shuttle stops. All shuttle buses operating to and from the parking lots are wheelchair accessible.

Parking Contact Number

General Inquiries: 919-840-2140

Car Rental at RDU Airport

Rental car offices are located south of the airport, and all offer courtesy shuttle buses to and from the terminals. Shuttles operate from the green stops outside of baggage claim at zone 5 in Terminal 1 and zone 18 in Terminal 2.

The following rental companies are available on-airport property:

Hot Tip: Read about the credit cards that include car rental insurance so you can avoid paying for expensive insurance through the rental provider.

RDU Airport Hotels

Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh Durham Airport
Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh Durham Airport. Image Credit: Hilton

There are no hotels on RDU airport property, however, the closest accommodation is only 1.6 miles away. There’s a good selection of 2- to 4-star hotels available within a 2.5-mile radius.

HotelAddress and Phone NumberStar RatingDistance From the Airport (Miles)
Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Durham Airport1500 RDU Center Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-840-8088

31.6
Hyatt Place Raleigh Durham Airport200 Airgate Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-405-2400

41.7
Tru By Hilton Raleigh Durham Airport350 Airgate Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-813-7129

31.7
Cambria Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport300 Airgate Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-361-3311

31.8
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Raleigh-Durham Airport, NC201 Airgate Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-544-1010

31.8
Courtyard by Marriott Raleigh-Durham Airport Morrisville2001 Hospitality Ct., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-467-9444

31.9
Residence Inn by Marriott Raleigh-Durham Airport/Morrisville2020 Hospitality Ct., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-467-8689

31.9
Fairfield Inn & Suites Raleigh-Durham Airport/Brier Creek10040 Sellona St., Raleigh, NC 27617

919-246-0107

32
La Quinta by Wyndham Raleigh Durham Intl AP1001 Hospitality Ct., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-461-1771

32
Microtel Inn by Wyndham Raleigh-Durham Airport104 Factory Shops Rd., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-651-3793

22
Quality Inn & Suites Raleigh Durham Airport001 Aerial Center Pkwy., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-481-3600

32
Hyatt House Raleigh/Rdu/Brier Creek10030 Sellona St., Raleigh, NC 27617

919-405-7001

32
Aloft Raleigh Durham Airport Brier Creek10020 Sellona St., Raleigh, NC 27617

919-957-8523

32
Holiday Inn Express Raleigh-Durham Airport1014 Airport Blvd., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-653-2260

22.1
Hampton Inn Raleigh/Durham Airport1010 Airport Blvd., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-462-1620

32.1
Staybridge Suites Raleigh-Durham Airport-Morrisville1012 Airport Blvd., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-468-0180

32.1
Days Inn by Wyndham Raleigh-Airport-Research Triangle Park1000 Airport Blvd., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-234-5211

22.2
Fairfield Inn & Suites Raleigh – Durham Airport / RTP2750 Slater Rd., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-468-2660

32.2
Extended Stay America – Raleigh – RDU Airport2700 Slater Rd., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-380-1499

22.2
Holiday Inn Raleigh Durham Airport930 Airport Blvd., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-465-1910

32.3
Four Points by Sheraton – Raleigh-Durham Airport1200 Claren Cir., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-380-1221

42.4
Embassy Suites Raleigh – Durham Airport/ Brier Creek8001 Arco Corporate Dr., Raleigh, NC 27617

919-572-2200

42.5

Top 3 Hotel Stays Using Points

HotelAddress and Phone NumberStar RatingDistance From the Airport (Miles)Loyalty ProgramRedemption Cost
Hyatt Place Raleigh Durham Airport200 Airgate Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-405-2400

41.7World of Hyatt5,000 World of Hyatt points
Four Points by Sheraton – Raleigh-Durham Airport1200 Claren Cir., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-380-1221

42.4Marriott Bonvoy15,000 to 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Durham Airport1500 RDU Center Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-840-8088

31.6Hilton Honors22,000 to 40,000 Hilton Honors points

The Hyatt Place Raleigh Durham Airport is ideally located a half-mile from the airport and within close proximity to Research Triangle Park. The hotel is pet-friendly and offers an indoor pool, an on-site restaurant, a fitness center, and free breakfast for all guests. Better yet, as a Category 1 property in the Hyatt portfolio, award nights at the hotel cost just 5,000 points per night!

Four Points by Sheraton – Raleigh-Durham Airport is centrally located in Raleigh with easy access to Cary, Durham, and Chapel Hill for local shopping, dining, and entertainment. Guests will enjoy amenities like the indoor pool, a fitness center, an on-site restaurant, free breakfast for all guests, and a free airport shuttle. The hotel is a Category 3 Marriott Bonvoy property, so award nights cost 15,000 points on off-peak nights, 17,500 points on standard nights, and 20,000 points on peak nights.

Hilton loyalists will feel at home at the Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Durham. You’ll find that it offers all of the amenities you’ll need for an enjoyable stay like a free airport shuttle, 24-hour fitness center, indoor pool, business center, and an on-site restaurant. Hilton no longer publishes an award chart, so the price can vary based on the season and demand, but you can expect to pay somewhere between 22,000 and 40,000 points per night.

Hot Tip: If you’re looking to top off your points to stay at any of these options, see our guides on the best ways to earn more Hilton Honors pointsWorld of Hyatt points, or Marriott Bonvoy points.

Final Thoughts

In 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration approved the airport’s Vision 2040 plan for airport expansion. With a completion date of 2040, this long-term plan doesn’t account for any immediate developments, but with the airport around 10 years ahead of its projected growth, that will need to be revisited. The Vision 2040 plans include gate expansion at both Terminals 1 and 2, a new rental car center and ground transportation facilities, and improvements to some of the parking lots.


Frequently asked questions

What airlines fly out of Raleigh-Durham Airport?

The following airlines operate out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport:

Terminal 1

Terminal 2

How far is Raleigh-Durham International Airport?

Raleigh-Durham International Airport is approximately 11 miles (18 km) from downtown Raleigh and 10 miles (17 km) from downtown Durham.

How many terminals does Raleigh Airport have?

Raleigh-Durham International Airport has 2 terminals — Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Terminal 1 is used solely by Southwest Airlines and has 1 concourse and Terminal 2 has 2 concourses.

How early should I get to Raleigh Durham Airport?

The standard guidance is to arrive at least 2 hours before a domestic flight and 3 hours before an international flight. This allows time to check-in, clear security, and make your way to the departure gate.

Can you walk between terminals at RDU?

It is possible to walk between terminals at Raleigh-Durham International Airport via a walkway through the central parking garage. Passengers from Terminal 1 must walk along an underground tunnel, and the walk takes 5 to 10 minutes.

How much does it cost to park at Raleigh-Durham Airport?

Parking costs are as follows:

  • Parking in the central lot costs $2 per hour (up to 4 hours) and $15 per day
  • Premier parking on the ground level costs $3 per hour (up to 4 hours) and $22 per day
  • Express parking is $2 per hour (up to 4 hours) and $12 per day
  • Economy parking is $1 per hour (up to 4 hours on the day of entry) and $7 to $8 per day depending on whether you park in economy lot 3 or 4.

Does RDU have TSA Precheck?

There are dedicated TSA PreCheck lanes at both security checkpoints. Opening hours vary so it’s best to check on the TSA website.

RDU has a TSA Enrollment Center in the baggage claim area near carousel 5. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Does RDU have international flights?

Raleigh-Durham International Airport operates international flights to Cancun, London, Montreal, Paris, and Toronto. International flights operate from Terminal 2.

Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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