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Memphis International Airport offers travel tips for fall break travelers

Older couple wearing face masks, traveling in fall

MEMPHIS, TENN. (October 8, 2020) – While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to significantly affect passenger traffic, the fall break travel period is expected to bring increased traffic to Memphis International Airport (MEM) starting October 9.

Passenger volume is still expected to be down by more than 50% compared to fall break 2019 due to COVID-19, with more than 24,000 passengers and employees expected to pass through the checkpoint during week, compared to more than 58,000 in 2019. However, fall break is expected to the busiest travel period at MEM since mid-March. In addition, the pandemic has created a number of operational changes for the airport, airlines, TSA, retail stores and restaurants. As a result, the airport is sharing the following tips for fall break travelers:

Operational Updates/COVID-19 Measures 

  • Masks are now required in public buildings per the City of Memphis Face Covering Ordinance 5751.

  • Airlines require masks/facial coverings for all boarding passengers.
  • Complimentary masks are available at the ticketing counters, and additional masks are available for sale at retail shops.
  • Ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft now require both drivers & passengers to wear face masks during trips.
  • For more details, see these links:
    Uber: ubr.to/2LHBfXI
    Lyft: lft.to/36e0QAR

  • Floor markings are in place which illustrate the recommended 6′ distancing between passengers.
  • Businesses and airlines have installed Plexiglass at counters as an extra measure of protection.
  • MEM and its partners continue to maintain enhanced cleaning and sanitation of high contact areas, including the gate areas and the security checkpoint. Sanitizer dispensers can be found throughout both the A and C concourses.

Airline Operations

  • MEM recommends that travelers arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes before their departure time.
  • Passengers should check with their airlines to monitor schedules.
  • Each airline has different policies and fees for baggage.
  • 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 any of these aspects of air travel.
  • Each airline maintains its own policies and procedures as it relates to COVID-19. Links to more airline information can be found at www.flymemphis.com/covid-19.


  • TSA has implemented new procedures to increase social distancing, reduce direct contact between employees and passengers, and increase cleaning and sanitation at the checkpoint. More information can be found at www.tsa.gov/coronavirus.
  • As a temporary exemption from its “3-1-1” rule (no liquids in excess of 3.4 oz. in carry-on bags), TSA is allowing one oversized liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags.
  • 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. Check your bags before you arrive at the airport.
  • More TSA travel tips can be found here.

Retail/Restaurant Update

Due to the significant decrease in passenger traffic, HMS Host (food/beverage) and Paradies (retail stores) have reduced hours and closed some locations. In addition, the Delta Air Lines SkyClub is temporarily closed. Passengers can find an updated restaurant and retail store listing at www.flymemphis.com/covid-19.

Additional Links