We have all heard about how many people are driving to Little Rock or Nashville to catch a flight to avoid high Memphis prices.
But when you look at the actual numbers it is sobering.
In October of 2011 714,295 flew out of Memphis. Over the same one-month period in October 2012, 517,883 caught a flight out of Memphis, a drop of 196,412.
In comparison, from October of 2010 to October 2011 7,446,604 flew out of Memphis. Over the same period, from October 2011 to October 2012, Memphis International saw a drop of 1,569,819 passengers.
The 1.6 million passenger drop is 200,000 more people than every man woman and child that live in the Memphis metro area.
But if you're like many living in the Mid-South and have chosen not to fly out of Memphis International Airport - either due to the price of a ticket or poor connections you are probably not aware of just how much things have changed at the airport.
In November 2011, Memphis International was the No. 1 airport in the nation for on-time performance. That could be because you don't have a bunch of people getting in the way, or baggage, or anything else.
It has to be striking to air travelers who pass through Memphis and walk through the terminal or pass through security at just how many people are not here. You go to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, and you will find huge crowds of people returning from the holidays, heading back out on business trips or off for a ski holiday.
In Memphis you will find easy access - to everything. No long lines and no waiting.
Those who do come to the airport to pick up the few travelers who still fly to Memphis have noticed the drop off in passengers.
More jobs are going to be lost in February when the rental car business that surrounds the airport will be moving into the brand new empty parking garage. When that happens, all the bus drivers who have seen their passengers slowly dwindling, Will no longer be needed.
And the beat goes on, at Memphis International Airport.
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