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

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (November 17, 2022) – Memphis International Airport (MEM) is projecting a total of 80,000 people to pass through the security checkpoint during the Thanksgiving travel period that runs from Friday, November 18 through Monday, November 28. The projected total represents an approximate increase of 4% compared to Thanksgiving 2021 and a decrease of 4.5% compared to Thanksgiving 2019 prior to the pandemic.

On Sunday, November 13, MEM experienced its busiest day since December 1, 2019, with 9,205 people passing through the checkpoint.

The expected peak day is Sunday, November 27, with a projected checkpoint throughput of about ­­­­8,700. Other expected peak days include Friday, November 18 and Sunday, November 20.

With numbers approaching or exceeding 2019 levels on certain days, MEM is providing passengers with tips to help ensure a more efficient travel experience.

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.


  • The installation of TSA’s new Computed Tomography (CT) equipment at MEM was completed in October. With the improved security capabilities of CT equipment at the MEM checkpoints, passengers 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. Bin size dimensions are as follows:
    • Depth:  5.5 inches
    • Width:  19.5 inches
    • Length: 24.5 inches
    • CT Tunnel Height: 16.5 inches
  • 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.
  • Travelers are encouraged to examine carry-on luggage to ensure no prohibited items are contained within, and 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.

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