2491 Winchester Rd., Memphis, TN 38116
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Memphis International Airport offers tips for Memorial Day weekend travelers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (May 26, 2021) – With steady growth in passenger numbers over the past few weeks, Memphis International Airport is providing additional information to ensure a more efficient travel experience for Memorial Day weekend passengers.

In 2019, during the six-day extended Memorial Day holiday weekend (Thursday – Tuesday), TSA screened 50,598 passengers and employees. This year, TSA expects to screen close to 40,000 individuals during the same time period, an approximate 20% decrease in throughput compared to 2019. Throughputs will be up 371% this weekend compared to 2020, when MEM screened only 8,484 during the holiday travel period.  

Operational Updates

  • MEM recommends that travelers arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes before their departure time. The busiest time period for passengers is between 5-7 am.
  • 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.
  • With the exception of Vacation Express, all baggage claim operations for arrivals are now taking place in the B baggage lobby. Vacation Express will conduct baggage operations in the A baggage lobby for its weekly flights.
  • The A concourse exit lane will be closed.
  • The C concourse exit lane will be closed unless the C security checkpoint is open.
  • While baggage claim operations will not be conducted in the A and C areas, the areas will be available as backup if needed. The curbs outside A and C baggage will also remain open for passenger pickup.
  • With the expected increase in vehicle traffic outside the B baggage area, passengers are encouraged to utilize the cell phone waiting lot before picking up passengers. The cell phone lot features a real-time flight information display. To avoid traffic congestion, the baggage level curbside lane will be available for immediate active pickup only. Vehicles will no longer be able to park outside the baggage area and wait on arriving passengers.


  • TSA is currently preparing its operations across the nation to accommodate peak summer travel.
  • Screening continues to be performed primarily at the B Checkpoint.  The C Checkpoint will be open only during limited hours during peak periods.  Hours of operation at the C Checkpoint will vary daily based on demand.  Please follow the directions of TSA and airport personnel.
  • 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 check all carry-on baggage before traveling and 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.

COVID-19 Measures

  • The federal mask mandate is still in effect until September 13. Federal law requires passengers over the age of 2 (with limited exceptions) to wear a mask when traveling through U.S. airports, including MEM.
  • Passengers without a mask will be denied security screening and access beyond the TSA checkpoint.
  • Masks must completely cover the nose and mouth of the wearer.
  • The use of face shields alone is not sufficient but can be used in addition to a face mask.
  • The face mask requirement applies at all times unless: 
    1. It’s necessary to temporarily remove it for ID verification.
    2. Eating, drinking, or taking oral medications for brief periods.
    3. The traveler is under two years old.
  • Passengers without a mask may be denied entry, boarding, or continued transport. Failure to comply with the mask requirement can result in civil penalties.
  • Complimentary masks are available at the ticketing counters and the TSA checkpoint, and additional masks are available for sale at retail shops.

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