2491 Winchester Rd., Memphis, TN 38116
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Memphis International Airport offers tips for 4th of July weekend travelers

B Ticketing at MEM - Long lines at TSA checkpoint

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (June 30, 2021) – Coming off its busiest week since December 2019, Memphis International Airport (MEM) is sharing holiday travel information with passengers ahead of 4th of July weekend.

Between June 20-26, 49,481 people passed through the checkpoint at MEM, making it the busiest week since the last week of December 2019. Last week’s numbers represent an increase of 219% compared to the same week in 2020 and a decrease of 14.1% compared to the same time frame in 2019. MEM continues to recover at a faster pace than the national average: TSA’s nationwide checkpoint totals last week represented a 24.4% decrease compared to 2019.

For the six-day July 4 travel period beginning Thursday, July 1, more than 41,000 people are expected to pass through the checkpoint. The peak days are expected to be Thursday and Friday, with as many as 7,300 people per day.

Passenger Travel Tips

  • MEM recommends that travelers arrive at the airport at least TWO HOURS before their departure time. The busiest period for passengers is between 4-8 am.
  • Passengers should check 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 or stage outside the baggage area and wait on arriving passengers.
  • 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.


  • Screening continues to be performed primarily at the B Checkpoint. The C Checkpoint will be opened 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 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 for all U.S. airports 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.
  • 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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