cityCURRENT Partner, Memphis International Airport (MEM) is preparing for one of its busiest travel periods of the year, with nearly 40,000 people expected to pass through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints during the Fall Break travel period October 6-10. TSA at MEM screened 37,955 during the comparable Fall Break period in 2021.
While this year’s projected total is less than the 44,499 that were screened during Fall Break in pre-pandemic 2019, passenger traffic has been on the upswing at MEM. In September 2022, MEM’s checkpoint throughput was 204,704 compared to 203,480 in September 2019. This was the first post-pandemic month where checkpoint traffic exceeded that of the comparable month in 2019. More significantly, September 2022 was the busiest September at MEM since 2008, when 209,295 people were screened.
The peak travel days for Fall Break 2022 are expected to be October 6, 7 and 9. The busiest daily time periods are between 4-7 a.m.
Passenger Travel Tips
- MEM recommends that travelers arrive at the airport at least TWO HOURS before their departure time.
- Prior to coming to the airport, passengers can also save time by checking in online via their airline’s website.
- Passengers should check directly with their airlines to monitor schedules.
- Airlines rather than the airport are responsible for all aspects of ticketing, scheduling, gate operations and baggage handling. Check with your airline if you have questions about these subjects.
- The economy parking area may periodically reach capacity during peak travel days. When this occurs, additional signage will be added, and additional parking staff will help direct drivers to available parking spots.
- MEM is also prepared to activate an overflow parking area should the economy, short-term and long-term garages reach capacity. Should this occur, additional parking staff will help direct drivers to this lot. For convenience, drivers parking in the overflow lot may want to drop off luggage and other passengers at the terminal before parking.
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- The installation of TSA’s new Computed Tomography (CT) equipment at MEM is about 90% complete. With the improved security capabilities of CT equipment at the MEM checkpoints, passengers utilizing these lanes can now leave their laptop computers, electronic devices and 3-1-1 compliant liquids in their carry-on bags for screening.
- However, there are size limitations for these CT units and all items must fit into the grey divesting bins. Nothing can be placed directly on the moving belts. All oversized bags must be checked at the airline ticket counters because they will not be accepted for screening at any TSA checkpoint.
- Also, as our TSA Officers and the passengers learn the new procedures associated with the CT equipment, please allow yourself some additional time to get through the screening process.
- In order to expedite security screening time, passengers should review the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA’s) list of prohibited items.
- Firearms in carry-on bags are prohibited by federal law. Firearms can be transported in checked baggage if they are properly declared to the airline and packed in accordance with TSA guidelines.