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Raleigh-Durham Airport Guide

raleigh-durham airport guide

In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our Raleigh-Durham Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the name of a hotel near the airport in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!

If it weren't for having memorized CNN Airport after watching it continually for 9 hours and the fact that I think they are trying to generate the first indoor snow storm with the air conditioning of doom it would still be bad. - Chris

Airport Overview

raleigh airport

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us during their time at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

What to Expect

  • A small international airport, consisting of two terminals (Terminals 1 and 2)
  • After airport restaurants and shops close for the night, vending machines are the only in-airport snack option. Plan ahead and purchase your food and drinks before the concessions close.
  • The airport provides free WiFi. See WiFi information in the airport guide below.

Where to Sleep

  • After security checkpoints close for the night, passengers are restricted to landside only. Passengers sleeping airside will be required to go back to landside until security reopens, and will need to clear security again to re-enter.
  • Comfortable recliners are located airside near the escalators, just past security
  • Padded armrest-free benches are available airside in Terminal 2
  • Armrest-free seating is very limited in the landside areas of the terminal. If you can find a bench, snag it!
  • For uninterrupted sleep, there are hotels near the airport that provide free airport shuttles. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.

Good to Know

  • Economy class passengers can find comfort in one of the lounges that are accessible with a day pass or airline lounge membership. See our Airport Lounges section for locations and rates.

For more information about the services and facilities available, scroll down to continue exploring our Raleigh-Durham Airport Guide. Send us your airport tips to help us keep this information up to date.


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Raleigh-Durham Airport Information

In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.

Airport Lounges

If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at Raleigh-Durham airport either by purchasing a lounge pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):

  • American Airlines Admirals Club - Location: Terminal 2, Airside, across from Gates C1 and C3. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door with proof of American Airlines ticket (US$ 59.00) • Admirals Club Membership.
  • Delta Sky Club - Location: Terminal 2, Airside, 2nd level, across from gate C3. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door with proof of Delta ticket (US$59.00) • Delta Sky Club Membership.

Military Lounge

USO Lounge - The USO offers a lounge that is free of charge to members of the US military and their families. Amenities include: TV lounge, snacks, computers, library and a child care area. Location: Terminal 2, 3rd floor, entrance on the Ticketing Level near Starbucks. Hours: open 24 hours.

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Airport WiFi / Internet

Free WiFi is available at Raleigh-Durham airport for 45-minutes. Connect to the “RDU Free WiFi” network. A faster, uninterrupted, commercial-free premium service is available through Boingo for $7.95.

Pro-Tip: Once your free session is over, you can start it again for free after watching another commercial. You can repeat this as many times as you want.

If you need to check your email and don’t have a device to do so, use one of the pay-email kiosks located landside in the Ticketing Lobby, or airside in Terminal 2 (Gate C24).

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Airport Hotels

If sleeping in Raleigh-Durham Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

To see more options there is a list of hotels near Raleigh Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

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More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

  • Art at the Airport - Several permanent and temporary exhibitions can be found throughout the airport.
  • ATM’s / Cash Machines - Available. Locations: Terminal 1 (Landside, main entrance near tunnel to parking garage • Airside) • Terminal 2 (Landside, Baggage Claim Area • Landside, Ticketing Area x 2 locations • Airside x 4 locations).
  • Baby Care Facilities - Family washrooms providing baby change facilities can be found throughout the airport.
  • Baggage Carts - SmarteCartes are available curbside, in the baggage claim area of both terminals, and the parking garage atrium. Rental is $4 per cart, with a 25-cent refund for return.
  • Car Rentals - Yes, see our Airport Transportation section below.
  • Chapel - Location: Terminal 1, Baggage Claim area. Hours: open 24 hours
  • Currency Exchange - Travelex has two offices: Terminal 2, ticketing lobby (Hours: 7:00AM - 8:00PM) • Terminal 2, baggage claim (Hours: open during international arrivals only).
  • Duty Free & Shopping - Duty free is available at EJE Travel Retail (Location: airside, Gate C15. Hours:6:00AM - 8:00PM). The airport also offers a good variety of shops to pass the time such as magazines shops, clothing retailers and last minute convenience shops.
  • Food & Drinks - Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. Some open as early as 4:30AM and close after the last departure. The only 24 hour option is Starbucks (Terminal 2, landside, Ticketing Lobby). A vending machine can be found by the baggage carousels.
  • Information Desk - Locations: Terminal 1 (Hours: 7:00AM - 12:00AM) • Terminal 2 (5:30AM - 12:00AM). The information desks are manned by North Carolina travel agents to provide you with local assistance. The airport also offers ambassadors who you will find throughout the airport to assist you.
  • Luggage Storage & Lockers - not available
  • Meditation Room - Location: Terminal 2, Ticketing Lobby, landside. Hours: open 24 hours.
  • Mobile Charging - In Terminal 1, power outlets can be found next to seats at the gates and in baggage claim. In Terminal 2, look for the seating clusters with tables that have built-in power 110v outlets and USB ports.
  • Observation Area - For locals or visitors willing to take a taxi, you may like to visit the RDU Observation Deck, where you can watch the action on the airport's longest runway. From the airport's web site: "The park is located near the Air Traffic Control Tower and Park and Ride 2. Direct communication from the control tower to pilots can be heard from the elevated lookout area. A playground and picnic tables are nearby".
  • Pharmacy - OTC Drugs and More. Location: Terminal 2, Ticketing Lobby. Hours 4:30AM - 8:00PM
  • Showers - not available
  • Smoking Areas - Prohibited anywhere inside the airport.
  • Spa - Manicures, pedicures, facials, massages and more are available at XpresSpa. Location: Terminal 2, airside, Gate C10. Hours: 7:00AM - 8:00PM (Sun-Fri), 9:30AM - 6:00PM (Sat).

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Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours. The TSA security checkpoints open at 4:00AM.

Keep in mind that airline check-in and baggage drop hours vary according the flight schedule. Check these hours with your airline. If you are in the public area of the terminal (landside) you will not be able to get through to the secure area of the terminal (airside) until the morning.

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Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Bus

Triangle Transit Route 100 is an ordinary local bus route that runs between the airport and the Triangle Transit Regional Transit Center, offering connections to other Triangle Transit buses that serve Raleigh, Durham and Cary. For route maps, schedules and fare information, visit the GO Triangle website.

Car Rentals

The following car rental agencies serve the airport, offering free shuttle service from the airport to their service locations: Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Payless and Thrifty. Shuttles pick up at the green Rental Car shuttle stops, located outside of the baggage claim areas of both terminals. If you do not have a reservation, you can make one at the Reservation and Accommodation Board available inside of the baggage claim areas of both terminals.

Hotel Shuttles

Several area hotels provide airport transportation service as a courtesy to their guests. Here are a few hotels offering airport shuttle service: Aloft Raleigh-Durham Airport Brier Creek   •   Cambria Hotel & Suites Raleigh-Durham Airport   •   Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Raleigh-Durham Airport   •   Courtyard Raleigh-Durham Airport   •   Embassy Suites by Hilton Raleigh - Durham Airport/Brier Creek   •   Fairfield Inn & Suite RDU Airport   •   Fairfield Inn & Suites Raleigh-Durham Airport/Brier Creek   •   Hampton Inn Raleigh Durham Airport   •   Hampton Inn & Suites Raleigh-Durham Airport-Brier Creek   •   Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Durham Airport   •   Holiday Inn Express Raleigh-Durham Airport   •   Hyatt Place Raleigh-Durham Airport   •   La Quinta Inn & Suites Raleigh Durham Intl AP   •   La Quinta Inn & Suites Raleigh Durham Airport S   •   Residence Inn Raleigh-Durham Airport.

Shuttles

Several companies offer shared-ride shuttle service to and from Raleigh-Durham Airport. These shuttles can be found in the brown limo zones outside of the baggage claim areas of either terminal.

Taxis

Taxis are available outside near Baggage Claim 3 (Terminal 1) and on the lower level, outside of Baggage Claim 1 (Terminal 2). All taxis are metered, and reservations are not required, but you can pre-book your taxi by contacting RDU Taxis, Inc. Trips within Durham, Orange and Wake counties are metered, but outside of those areas, the trip can be metered or a flat rate can be arranged with the driver. The following estimated fares were valid at the time of this update: Raleigh or Durham $30.80, Cary $21.05 and Chapel Hill $38.60.

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Last Updated: 17 Aug 2017

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning and is subject to change at any time. The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors, or to add/change any items mentioned in the guide, please contact us.

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