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RDU International Airport


Rufus

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  • 3 weeks later...

  • 3 weeks later...

I am from Nashville, in school at NC State. Over in the Nashville forum we have a large thread about our airport and it has sparked some very interesting discussion.

I was just wondering what some general thoughts were about the condition and future of RDU. I have to admit that I have never been impressed, it is just lacking something about it. I know it was in the same category as BNA...American made it a hub and then backed out. I'm sure there are some lasting effects of that unfortunate situation.

I was also wondering about the status of international flights from RDU. What there is currently and any rumors for the future? So here it goes, any comments or discussion about the RDU airport are welcome. A great airport can go a long way in spurring development.

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This is really small, but I think the best thing they could do without spending a trillion jillion dollars is to mute every TV in the place.

Recently I've been in Toronto, Minneapolis and the Caribbean, and they were much more pleasant as a Joe Average traveler to spend a layover in because of the reduction of sound.

Terminal C is a horrendous experience even more so b/c of all the hard surfaces in it. It's definitely showing its wear & tear.

As far as the bigger fish to fry.....RDU is centrally located so it is a natural choice for a major ground *cough* rail *cough* transportation hub also - if it could quit focusing on paying for all its parking decks....

*plink plink*

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Although compared to other airports RDU may not be much to look at, compared to 25 years ago it has improved light-years. Back then it was a little dump beside a state maintained two-lane road. Access has been improved greatly. I also think they have done a great job landscaping the entry and exits. Parking has been expanded.

In a sense it has been a victim of the regions success. The current terminal A was meant to be a temporary facility that would be replaced after a few years, but the airport couldn

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Yes. When AA pulled out, they maintained ownership of Terminal C and would not allwo the authority to do anything but repair work until about 2 years ago. That is one of the reasons why most airlines were crammed into A while C sat empty with many empty or lightly used gates.

The airport also runs some flights to Cancun and Nassau from charter companies operating from the commercial terminal on a weekly basis. I know that in the past, airlines were seriously looking at RDU as a possible "mini-hub" to releive DC, ATL and NY airports. However, b/c of AA's control issues, this never happened.

It will be interesting to see what's going to happen as the terminals are rehabd. I believe big things are coming for Term. A in the not to distant future.

I'd also LOVE to see a rail connection. The question is, what corridor would they use to connect to the existing rail lines about 4 miles south of the airport. There's so much development between RDU and the rail line, where could they put it?

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RDU has seen a growth in its passengers since 9/11. It now has about 9.4 million passengers. Unfortunately, before 9/11, that number was around 10 or 11 million because of the tech boom.

The new Terminal C, though not close to finishing, has impressed a lot of my friends from outside NC. Let's hope when they redo Terminal A they will have another great design.

I recently overheard something regarding JetBlue and service to RDU. IS that true? Also could RDU become another hub following the AA and Midway fiascos?

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I'm not a fan of RDU, though I wish I could be. I understand the issues that have contributed to outdated facilities, but I get the overall impression that the airport is poorly run.

My biggest problem is baggage claim. I've flown out of RDU at least 15 times this year and I averaged about 30 minutes waiting for my bags. I'm talking 30 minutes when I arrived at the baggage claim, not when I got off the plane. Many times the electronic signs above the carousels are incorrect, or they don't even bother to put up what flight the bags belong to.

I remember one time I got off a late flight and went to the restroom to find it completely disgusting with water all over the floor. It looked as if no one had attended it since that morning. One of the guys on my plane also went to the bathroom, and when he walked in and found that mess, his response was "Great first impression Raleigh!" That really upset me, because I felt that the airport was a reflection of me and where I live.

I don't know why these things happen, or who is at fault for the bad service - I just know it affects me and my attitude towards the airport as a whole.

There are big improvements coming in the future, and I hope they alleviate many of the aches and pains of dealing with the current situations at RDU - long lines, shortage of space, crowding, etc...

Airports leave a lasting, not to mention a first, impression of travelers on the areas they visit. Bringing RDU up to speed would go a long way for this areas reputation.

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That's a great post. I CANNOT STAND dirty bathrooms and incorrect LED signage. That's just lazy!

Here's one little problem with the place; the color scheme! If I recall correctly, here are the colors used: Brown, light blue, yellow, red, gray, beige, and pink. They need to pick 3 colors and unify the place. Also, get rid of the bus station seating around the place.

Didn't we read about 3 weeks ago that the airport authority is now bullish on getting rail through there? Evidently they either hated the heavy locomotive on the cheap plan or they hated someone associated with the TTA who just may be gone now.

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A couple of weeks ago, I finally parked near terminal A. The glass elevators/"moving sidewalk"/escalator combination felt really modern and well done. Once inside the terminal proper, however, RDU is quite dated and blah. The whole thing feels like one small step above bus station, and there are *no* amenities outside the TSA checkpoint. I was impressed with the LED baggage claim area, until I watched several flights come in while the signs stayed empty. Paying for parking in-terminal worked well too, though there seemed to be a line of people who didn't take advantage of it.

For a while, they seemed to pay more attention to General Aviation and cargo than passenger flights. They had lower gate fares than other airports, which drew people to drive to RDU, which led to caring little about the passenger experience.

As far as international flights, I flew from RDU to London Gatwick on American non-stop a year ago. I think it is a daily flight, but I'm not sure. Coming back, one of the flight attendants complimented me on my Hurricanes sweatshirt and said their crew was based in the area. I know there was talk of a direct to Germany a while ago, but I don't know if that ever happened.

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I think focusing on Terminal A is a moot point. The new Terminal C will essentially become the new airport and A will either be phased out as a passenger terminal or be used very sparingly in the future.

If that's the case, we should be building the ticketing/baggage claim/security facility just north of the parking decks and shooting people movers out to gate pods like Orlando and Tampa are arranged. One central building for these functions reduces inefficiency and redundancy. Recreating Term C as a standalone only reinvents the problems the shortsighted airport authorities in previous years created.

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glad to see such a good response to this topic so far...one thing I have recently realized is that people definitely take pride in their airports and see the possibility for them to be catalysts for lots of good things in the future.

Rebuilding and renovating the terminals will go a LONG way because right now they look so drab and at times almost deserted. I also think the drop off/pick up is a huge problem.

At the Nashville airport they recently finished the renovation to the outside so that now you can drive up to the top level (ticketing) and be dropped off and it moved through very quickly. Then one level below that is the area for pick up which is right outside baggage claim. They have three or so lanes that go through and you can quickly stop to let someone jump in, or you can pull in spaces all along that have a ten minute timer that allow you to wait. Once that time is up, you pull straight through the space and circle around again. They also added a "cell phone waiting area" where you can pull in, they have some spots to sit in your car and wait for people to call and say they are coming out so you can pull through and pick them up. This has all helped make the experience there much more enjoyable.

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I like that RDU is comparatively uncrowded-- it rarely takes me more than 15 minutes to get through security no matter when I fly. I think the redo of C will do tons for our image as a region, but the real thing that matters is whether one can get to where one is going quickly and cheaply. I generally can, so I like the airport! :)

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Somehow, terminal C managed to look a lot worse than terminal A, despite being newer. Maybe it was the red gabled roof. Made it look like a warehouse. I remember going in it the first time, when I was really young. It looked like the coolest thing. Didn't last very long.

It also might have something to do with 'A' being the combination of the old A and B terminals. After they combined it with the B wing, they had more room to spread out the baggage claim, pickup/dropoff, security stuff.

Edited by MR-2
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All the posts about RDU and its dated feel are valid. But, I have to say, I can think of no other airport in an area as populated as the triangle is where I can drive to within a few hundred feet of my gate, park for only $10 a night that close, and only have to wait in the security line for a couple of minutes, reliably (barring big rush times like Wednesday before t-giving). Frills aside, I'll never complain about an airport like that.

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I think that the new Terminal C will be something that everyone in the Triangle and North Carolina will be very proud of and will make a great first time impression on vistors to the Triangle and NC.

Terminal A is a whole other animal. Plain and simple it is an embarrasment.

Here are some interesting stats on the RDU Airport so far this year.

Number of flights is down 6% compared to last year, but passenger traffic is up about 0.4%

Number of people using the onsite parking is down 0.7% but the number of people taking Taxis to the airport is up 7.8%

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