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

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Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is the main airport serving the Research Triangle of North Carolina. Nearly 12 million passengers traveled to and from the airport in 2022, a 35% increase from 2021. As a focus city for Delta Air Lines, the airline accounts for around 30% of the passenger traffic.

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: 11.8 million
Daily Arrivals and Departures: 600
Destinations: 65 domestic and international destinations
Flight Information: Departures and arrivals info can be found online

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: Raleigh-Durham International Airport

RDU consists of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, located on either side of the airport. The parking garages are 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 Southwest Airlines uses 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 and 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 running 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

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*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 for airport lounge access.

Dining and Drinks at RDU

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

RDU Wi-Fi and Charging Points

RDU provides free Wi-Fi at all 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, which can also be found at gate areas.

RDU Airport Lost and Found

The department you will need to contact depends on where you lost 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
Hot Tip:

Explore the most kid-friendly U.S. airports and see why RDU was one of the worst airports on our list.

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

No direct train services 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 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, it is located outside of the 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 to access 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 to access 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 $5 per hour or $20 daily.

ParkRDU Premier

Premier parking is available on the ground level of the ParkRDU Central lot. Dedicated premier spaces are located closest to entrances and exits for the quickest access to the terminals. Parking is charged at $7.50 per hour or $30 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 $4 per hour or $16 per day.

ParkRDU Economy 3 and 4

ParkRDU Economy lots 3 and 4 are 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 airport’s south end, and Economy lot 4 is at the north end of the airport. Parking rates are:

  • ParkRDU Economy lot 3: $3 per hour or $12 per day
  • ParkRDU Economy lot 4: $3 per hour or $12 per day

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Parking

Visitors picking up passengers may want to wait in the cell phone waiting lot at 1000 Trade Drive, Morrisville, NC 27560. Visitors must remain with their vehicle until the passenger is ready for curbside pickup. 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, 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, 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 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 credit cards with 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. A good selection of 2- to 4-star hotels is available within a 2.5-mile radius.

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Hotel

Address and Phone Number

Star Rating

Distance From the Airport (Miles)

Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Durham Airport

1500 RDU Center Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-840-8088

3

1.6

Hyatt Place Raleigh Durham Airport

200 Airgate Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-405-2400

4

1.7

Tru By Hilton Raleigh Durham Airport

350 Airgate Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-813-7129

3

1.7

Cambria Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport

300 Airgate Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-361-3311

3

1.8

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Raleigh-Durham Airport, NC

201 Airgate Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-544-1010

3

1.8

Sonesta Select Raleigh Durham Airport Morrisville

2001 Hospitality Ct., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-467-9444

3

1.9

Sonesta ES Suites Raleigh Durham Airport Morrisville

2020 Hospitality Ct., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-467-8689

3

1.9

Fairfield Inn & Suites Raleigh-Durham Airport/Brier Creek

10040 Sellona St., Raleigh, NC 27617
919-246-0107

3

2

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Raleigh Durham Airport

1001 Hospitality Ct., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-461-1771

3

2

Microtel Inn by Wyndham Raleigh-Durham Airport

104 Factory Shops Rd., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-651-3793

2

2

Quality Inn & Suites Raleigh Durham Airport

1001 Aerial Center Pkwy., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-481-3600

3

2

Hyatt House Raleigh/Rdu/Brier Creek

10030 Sellona St., Raleigh, NC 27617
919-405-7001

3

2

Aloft Raleigh-Durham Airport Brier Creek

10020 Sellona St., Raleigh, NC 27617
919-957-8523

3

2

Holiday Inn Express Raleigh-Durham Airport

1014 Airport Blvd., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-653-2260

2

2.1

Hampton Inn Raleigh/Durham-Airport

1010 Airport Blvd., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-462-1620

3

2.1

Staybridge Suites Raleigh-Durham Airport-Morrisville

1012 Airport Blvd., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-468-0180

3

2.1

Days Inn by Wyndham Raleigh-Airport-Research Triangle Park

1000 Airport Blvd., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-234-5211

2

2.2

Fairfield Inn & Suites Raleigh-Durham Airport/Research Triangle Park

2750 Slater Rd., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-468-2660

3

2.2

Extended Stay America – Raleigh – RDU Airport

2700 Slater Rd., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-380-1499

2

2.2

Holiday Inn Raleigh-Durham Airport

930 Airport Blvd., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-465-1910

3

2.3

Four Points by Sheraton Raleigh Durham Airport

1200 Claren Cir., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-380-1221

4

2.4

Embassy Suites by Hilton Raleigh Durham Airport Brier Creek

8001 Arco Corporate Dr., Raleigh, NC 27617
919-572-2200

4

2.5

Top 3 Hotel Stays Using Points

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Hotel

Address and Phone Number

Star Rating

Distance From the Airport (Miles)

Redemption Cost

Hyatt Place Raleigh Durham Airport

200 Airgate Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560

919-405-2400

4

1.7

Four Points by Sheraton Raleigh Durham Airport

1200 Claren Cir., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-380-1221

4

2.4

15,000 to 21,500 Marriott Bonvoy points

Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Durham Airport

1500 RDU Center Dr., Morrisville, NC 27560
919-840-8088

3

1.6

22,000 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. Award nights start at 15,000 to 20,000 points per night.

Hilton loyalists will feel at home at the Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Durham. 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 want 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 RDU’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 Terminals 1 and 2, a new rental car center and ground transportation facilities, and improvements to some 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's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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