MEMPHIS, Tenn. — This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and travelers are heading to their many destinations; Memphis International Airport says this is the busiest travel season in 15 years.

Coming off of its busiest week since 2008, the Memphis International Airport says it’s expecting 52,000 people to pass through its checkpoints this Memorial Day Weekend.

Kim Dafferner is among the thousands of travelers passing through Memphis International Airport Friday morning. “I just called my husband and said I am going to miss my flight. They told me, ‘Yes, you will. We will not usher you to the front. If you’re in line and you miss your flight, you miss your flight.'”

The airport says Friday is the peak day for travel, with more than 9,000 people expected to fly in and out of the airport.

AAA expects more than 42 million people to travel this weekend, a seven percent increase compared to last year. 3.4 million of those travelers are expected to hit the skies, while 37.1 million are expected to hit the roads. 

Officials say the summer travel season could be one for the record books, especially at airports.  AAA says despite inflation, demand for flights is skyrocketing, exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

One traveler advises everyone to be prepared. “Have everything ready. Whether you need your driver’s license or your pass, have all of your documents that you need ready to go,” she said.

Due to the high passenger volume, Memphis International Airport encourages passengers to arrive at the airport at least two hours before their scheduled departure time. The airport will also have overflow parking ready if needed.

For more travel tips, including the best and worst times to travel, click here.