Memphis International Airport expecting increase in passengers this Memorial Day weekend

Updated: May. 21, 2020 at 9:31 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - TSA is expecting to quadruple the number of passengers and employees that come thru check-points at Memphis International Airport Friday, as compared to what they saw three weeks ago.

“It was Memorial Day weekend. I just wanted to get away,” aid Andrew Harrison, who was traveling Thursday to Denver.

Even with the expected uptick, it’s not business as usual at Memphis International Airport for a holiday weekend.

Usually the airport would be filled with people, but COVID-19 has certainly slowed things down.

“I’m surprised. It’s not as crowded as I expected it to be,” said Harrison.

However, it’s a lot more crowded than it was three weeks ago when airport officials say they were averaging 450 employees and passengers coming through checkpoint.

Friday, they are expecting 2,000 and some flights are starting to reflect it.

"It was a full flight, so it was a little bit shocking because there was no social distancing on the flight. We were sitting next to each other,” said Sharon Coleman, who flew into Memphis from Dallas earlier this week.

She planned to fly “stand-by” back to Texas Thursday, but she couldn’t get on the flight because it was full.

“Not much because I had my hand sanitizer. I had my gloves. I got on my mask,” said Coleman.

It doesn’t appear that all the flights are crowded.

Courtland Sivadon, who traveled to Memphis from Nevada, says he had a row to himself and only about 30 people were onboard.

Travelers should be prepared for both scenarios.

TSA also announced some passengers will notice some changes as the busy summer season begins.

Travelers are expected to place their boarding pass on the reader themselves so to limit cross-contamination.

Travelers should put carry-on food in a plastic bag and place in bin. Food items often trigger alarm and causes officers to check the bag.

TSA is also encouraging travelers to wear facial coverings. Some individual airlines are requiring them.

TSA says travelers should washing your hands especially before and after the security screening process.

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