Memphis airport sees increase in travelers, decrease in ticket p - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis airport sees increase in travelers, decrease in ticket prices

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

It's some good news for the city of Memphis and the Memphis International Airport: New numbers show there are more people choosing to fly in and out of Memphis International Airport in 2016 than did in 2015.

Lower ticket prices are creating more traffic through the airport, which is leading to passengers spending more while they are in Memphis.

Passengers such as Indira Labriel said the experience at the Memphis airport is different than other areas.

"You guys are too friendly (laugh). It's very different. It's very different," Labriel said.

Labriel, from Brooklyn, New York, said she was visiting the Mid-South and loved the airport's efficiency.

"I waited like five minutes for my bags when I came in on Friday," Labriel said. "Usually, in New York and New York airports you have to wait a long time, so I was impressed with how quickly the bag service came."

It's not just the efficiency and friendly people at the airport that travelers are seeing as a big difference.

"I can tell a difference over the years. This one has improved so much since I've been coming to Memphis," Fred Smith, of Martinsville, Virginia, said.

In September of this year, approximately 12,000 more passengers used Memphis International Airport than in 2015. That means many more people are parking in the garage and passengers are spending more money to rent cars, eat at restaurants, and buy gifts.

Airport officials said the increase is also because of additional flights and destinations for travelers.

"Because we have increased our number of flights and the destination over the course of the last several months, you are seeing less need to go to a Little Rock or a Nashville in order to get where you need to go," Memphis International Airport spokesman Glen Thomas said.

In addition to additional flights and destinations, passengers are seeing more money stay in their wallet as well. The cost of a flight is down $140 on average compared to four years ago at the airport.

The airport sees about 80 commercial flights a day. That's still relatively low, but the number is growing every year with lower cost airlines helping spur growth and bring in new passengers.

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