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Cheap flights to
Raleigh (RDU)

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Flights to Raleigh (RDU) overview

Going searches for the best fares and sends members deals bookable 1-12 months in advance. Going members save approximately 35% compared to normal flight prices to Raleigh (RDU).

Cheapest Going deal

$48

Average price roundtrip

$307.78

Average Going deal price roundtrip

$201.20

Best month to fly

Going found the most deals with travel dates in May.

May

Worst month to fly

Going found the least deals with travel dates in June.

June

Top tips for finding a cheap flight to Raleigh (RDU)

Book in the Goldilocks Window

Life would probably be easier if there was a specific day of the week when the cost of a plane ticket was always cheaper, but that’s just not how airfare works. The constant price changes may seem random, but there is a period of time before every flight when you stand the best chance of getting a great deal. It’s 1-3 months before a domestic flight and 2-8 months before an international one. We call this the Goldilocks Window.

This is the sweet spot for most trips, but not all of them. If your travel dates are set in stone, or if you’re flying during peak season or a big holiday, add a few months onto the ranges listed above. Thinking about flying home for Thanksgiving? Plan on booking those flights in June. And keep in mind that airlines raise prices as you get closer to departure, especially 21, 14, and 7 days before—so book prior to that if you can.

Search alternate departure airports

Travelers who live in cities served by multiple big airports, like New York or San Francisco, are accustomed to checking their flight options from each one to find the best deal. But even if you only have one airport nearby, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing the same. We see shockingly great deals on flights from airports all over the country, big and small, and it never hurts to look around a bit before you click the buy button.

If, for example, flights to Raleigh from your home in Milwaukee are hovering around $300 roundtrip, check the flights from both Chicago airports before you book anything. Flights from Midway (MDW) to Raleigh may only be $100 roundtrip, which may make the 2-hour drive well worth it.

Fly when it’s cheaper

One of the easiest ways to save money on flights is by keeping your plans flexible. Being able to travel in the shoulder seasons, or even the low season, can mean you save a bundle on airfare (among other things). And while it’s true that not everyone has that degree of vacation flexibility, it’s also true that there are still a few ways you can be flexible while planning a trip that may help keep travel costs down.

If your only option for a holiday is the summer high season, you can sometimes find cheaper airfare during the first two weeks of June and the last two weeks of August. And, no matter when you’re traveling, look for cheaper fares a few days before and after your target dates. Fridays and Sundays tend to be the most expensive days to fly, so try to avoid those. Aim instead for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, which tend to be the least expensive days to fly.

Set alerts for specific trips

You may not have an assistant, but you can still outsource the time-consuming task of searching for cheap fares when you travel. Sign up for fare alerts for whatever trip you’re looking at, and you’ll then be notified by email when the price of a ticket drops. Alerts like this are specific to routes and dates, so if you’re considering more than one, you’ll have to set up multiple alerts. Or, you can join Going and hand over the whole project to our airfare search experts.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) sits in the middle of what’s known as the Research Triangle, almost equidistant from both Raleigh and Durham as well as Chapel Hill. The second-biggest airport in North Carolina, RDU is a focus city for Delta Air Lines and an operating base for Avelo Airlines. Most flights in and out of Raleigh-Durham are operated by Frontier and Avelo. There are 59 domestic airports with nonstop flights to RDU, and airports in eight other countries with direct service to Raleigh-Durham.

Frequently asked questions about flying to Raleigh (RDU)

What is the airport code for Raleigh-Durham?

The airport code for Raleigh-Durham International Airport is RDU.

When is high season in Raleigh?

The busiest tourist season in Raleigh is the summer, roughly June-August, but only by a hair. Autumn (September-November) and winter (December-February) routinely see visitor numbers that are almost the same as the summer numbers.

Summers in Raleigh are hot and humid, and the calendar may not be as crammed with things to do since all the big colleges in the area are on break. But there is an International Food Festival in the city each June.

The bounty of activities that come with colleges being in session is part of the reason fall and winter are often just as much of a peak season as summer, though you should be prepared for cold weather (especially from November-February, when lows can dip into the range of 30s-40s F). In addition to college sports, the fall calendar also offers events like the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival (September), the Hopscotch Music Festival (September), and the North Carolina State Fair (October).

When is the best time to visit Raleigh?

The weather in Raleigh’s shoulder seasons, spring (March-May), and fall (September-November) help make them the best times to be in the city. In March and November, you’ll definitely feel hints of winter temperatures, but most of the days are pleasantly warm.

As mentioned above, activities in the fall include not just college sports but also music festivals and fairs. In the spring, two culinary festivals make Raleigh a delicious place to be. Every April, the North Carolina ‘Cuegrass Festival combines two local favorites: barbecue and bluegrass. Another April event is Brewgaloo, the biggest craft beer festival in the state.

Does Raleigh-Durham have its own on-site hotel?

There is no on-site airport at RDU, but there are lots of hotel options within 1-3 miles from the terminal—including properties that represent all the main hotel chains. Most of them operate shuttles between the hotel and the terminal for easy access.

What lounges are available at Raleigh-Durham?

There are three airline lounges at the Raleigh-Durham Airport, all of which are located in Terminal 2:

  • The American Airlines Admirals Club (open 4:30am-8pm) is across from Gate C3. Amenities include free food, a full-service bar, and free WiFi. Access is free for Admirals Club members, American Airlines travelers flying first or business class, Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard cardholders with an AA boarding pass, ConciergeKey members with an AA boarding pass, and AirPass members with Admirals Club privileges. Day passes are available for $79.
  • The Delta Air Lines Sky Club (open 4:30am-7:45pm Sunday-Friday, 4:30am-7pm Saturday) is also across from Gate C3. Amenities include free food, beverages, and WiFi. Sky Club members, Delta’s and Air France’s first-class or business-class ticketholders, SkyMiles Reserve cardholders, and AmEx Platinum cardholders with a Delta boarding pass get free entry.
  • The United Club (open 5am-7:30pm) is located opposite Gates D1 and D3. Amenities include complimentary light snacks, a full-service bar, and free WiFi. Access is free for United Club members, travelers flying first or business class on United or its Star Alliance partners, United Club Infinite cardholders, and some elite-status United or Star Alliance frequent flyers.

What are the rules for traveling with pets to Raleigh-Durham?

The rules for bringing pets to North Carolina from outside the state vary a bit by species. For dogs and cats, you won’t need to have an official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, but you will need to be able to show proof that the animal is up-to-date on its rabies vaccines. You can find details for these and other animals on the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.

If you’re flying from outside the country to Raleigh with a pet, you’ll need to consult the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s regulations. These are set by type of animal as well as origin country, so be sure to check those before you book your flights. You’ll also need to check with your airline to find out what the rules are for flying with your pet.

At Raleigh-Durham airport, there are animal relief areas outside each of the two terminal buildings.

How far is Raleigh-Durham to Raleigh?

Downtown Raleigh is about 15 miles by car from Raleigh-Durham International Airport via the main routes. In normal traffic, it’s a drive that should take 25-30 minutes. The airport is also about 15 miles from downtown Durham, a trip that generally takes 20-25 minutes by car.

What are the transportation options for getting from Raleigh-Durham to Raleigh?

  • By taxi or rideshare: The flat rate on a taxi trip from RDU to downtown Raleigh is $39. To downtown Durham, it’s $38. There are flat rates for destinations throughout the Research Triangle, too, if you’re not headed downtown. A trip through a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft will cost about $30-35, depending on traffic and demand.
  • By public transportation: Go Triangle buses connect RDU with several points in the Research Triangle, including Raleigh and Durham. Route 100 stops at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 at the airport and takes passengers all the way into downtown Raleigh in about 30 minutes. Route 100 and Go Triangle’s RDU Shuttle also connect the airport to a nearby transit center, from which you can get a bus to other cities in the area. Bus fares start at $2.25.

How long is the flight to Raleigh?

Nonstop flights from nearby cities like New York or Chicago may take under two hours, while nonstop flights from the West Coast may take five hours or more. And, of course, any connecting flights in your itinerary can dramatically increase the length of your travel day.

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Number of deals

Total to Raleigh (RDU) in the last month

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* Prices are per person and include all taxes & fees in USD. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing, however, prices are not guaranteed, as airline pricing can change by the minute. Average Going fares are based on average prices of deals found by Going.

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