2491 Winchester Rd., Memphis, TN 38116
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Memphis International Airport offers holiday travel tips

Christmas decor in terminal

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (December 15, 2021) – Memphis International Airport (MEM) is projecting more than 111,000 people to pass through the security checkpoint during the 18-day holiday travel period that runs from Friday, December 17 through Monday, January 3. The projected total represents an approximate decrease of 11% compared to the same time period in 2019 and an increase of 68% compared to 2020.

The expected peak day is Thursday, December 23, with a projected checkpoint throughput of about 8,000. Other expected peak days include Sunday, December 19; Sunday, December 26; and Thursday, December 30. MEM is sharing the following tips to help ensure a more efficient travel experience:

Arrival, Parking and Check-In

  • 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.
  • Prior to coming to the airport, passengers can also save time by checking in online via their airline’s website.
  • 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.
  • 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 January 18, 2022. 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.

Onsite COVID Testing

Travelers Health Services, which is operated by local medical concierge clinic ZüpMed, is an onsite COVID-19 testing and services location in the B ticketing lobby across from the Southwest Airlines and American Airlines counters. Designed to provide fliers with immediate access to COVID testing and travel guidance during the pandemic, the site is open seven days a week from 5 am-8 pm. Hours may be adjusted based on passenger traffic. Both walk-ins and appointments are accepted.

Travelers Health Services provides both molecular and antigen “rapid” tests and serves as a collection point for PCR assays—COVID tests that are processed by the company’s partner laboratory nearby. Passengers can learn more about COVID testing requirements by visiting the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website. For more information about ZüpMed/Travelers Health Services, visit https://www.zupmed.com or call (901) 701-7010.


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