MEM holiday travel numbers up from 2019

Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 5:42 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s been a busy holiday travel season at Memphis International Airport with traffic surpassing numbers seen in 2019.

More than 56,000 were screened last week, according to MEM Communications Director, Glen Thomas. That’s a nearly 4% increase from the same week in 2019.

“That is the week that’s leading into Thanksgiving travel,” Thomas explained. “So as kids get out of school and people begin their travel plans, the Thanksgiving travel period really begins the Thursday or Friday before Thanksgiving.”

According to AAA, nearly 55 million people traveled at least 50 miles for Thanksgiving. About 50 million drove while the remainder flew.

Thomas said they are expecting more than 8,600 passengers Sunday, following the Thanksgiving holiday. The day is a historically high-volume day.

It has been more than three months since new security screening equipment was installed at MEM. Thomas said he does not expect the new machines to cause any delays this holiday season.

“There was a big learning curve for our TSA reps there in learning how to operate the machinery and also with the installation of the equipment,” Thomas explained, “but that’s been completed, and everything is running smoothly.”

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