Fall break brings record highs to passenger numbers at Memphis International Airport

Fall break brings record highs to passenger numbers at Memphis International Airport

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s going to be a busy weekend at the Memphis International Airport. Airport officials expected to see a lot of fall break travelers, and they were right.

One hour on Thursday broke the airport’s records for busiest single hour since 2008.

It’s a rang of emotions at an airport.

Traveler Haylie Lacy felt kind of nervous having an hour to go until her flight.

Tonya Green felt fine with two and a half hours until she had to board her flight to Houston. But a lot of passengers were very surprised by Friday morning’s scene at Memphis International Airport.

“I was surprised when we walked in,” Green said. “I was like what’s going on in here this morning?”

Lines and thousands of people trying to get to their flights.

Early morning flights are the busiest. An airport spokesperson said there’s expected to be a 4% increase in fall break travelers, and a 25% increase in early morning travelers.

“We're headed to Philly,” traveler Jerome Cianciolo said.

“I'm headed to Knoxville for Fall Break,” Lacy said. Airport officials expect four percent more travelers this fall break. The busiest times are in the morning.

On Thursday, the start of the peak traveling time for fall breakers, more than 9,000 passengers went through the Memphis Airport. Between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. there were 1,440 people, the most in one hour since 2008.

“There’s definitely momentum,” Memphis International Airport Director of Communications Glen Thomas said. “We’re growing. The airline industry, as a whole, is growing so we’re seeing more flights, larger aircraft, more destinations."

Even with an unprecedented amount of passengers, the airport said the lines at security Thursday were no longer than 15 minutes long. It’s a lot of work and patience to make sure everyone gets to their fall break destinations safely, and on time.

Officials advise air travelers to arrive at the airport a few hours before their scheduled flight.

Thursday was the second busiest day as a whole this year with over 9,600 passengers. The busiest day was May 24th with over 10,000 passengers.

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