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Memphis Airport, somewhat urgent

I am working on getting my parents home to Minnesota from their Gulf Shores, Alabama, vacation. I changed our initial plans (me meeting them in NOLA for a 4 day visit) to them driving to Nashville where I could get a direct flight to join them for the ride home. The whole thing is a little stressful. Parents are over 80 and my dad has cardiac issues as well as cancer. I'm almost 60 so all of us are at risk. My flight is tomorrow. Delta called this am cancelling my flight. After much discussion (not connecting thru Atlanta!), I now have a direct flight to Memphis. I wanted a direct flight to limit my exposure to germs. I arrive Memphis at about 11am. They will be driving from Merdian, Mississippi, where they will have spent the night. I expect to have to wait a bit. I'm looking for a good place they can pick me up. I'd like them to be able to drive up, and I'd like to be able to wait outside in the shade, if possible. I want to avoid any airport transportation. I didn't find the airport website particularly helpful.

Additionally, any current info on the airport and roads surrounding in regards to any detours or construction or anything that might create a problem for meeting them. From Memphis we are driving to St. Louis.

Also, I am currently sitting near the rear of the plane surrounded by empty seats. It seems like this might be the best option, though, really, its all a crap shoot.

Thanks all

Posted by
626 posts

It's been a year or so since I flew thru Memphis. If they're driving up I expect they will have to drop the rental? Why can't you meet them at the rental place?

Posted by
3280 posts

Thanks, KGC, but, no they will not have a rental car. I drove them to Gulf Shores in February with their car.

Posted by
6060 posts

I'm not sure I understand your post because there are a lot of extra details in there. Are you asking exactly where/ which curb of the airport they should be picking you up so they don't have to park and go inside (say to baggage claim, etc)? I would assume this is like any other airport pickup except you want to do it as a drive-by as opposed to meet-outside-the-security-zone.

Posted by
3280 posts

I am looking for a landmark/sign/something they can easily find where hopefully I am not sitting in the sun for an hour. Like, for example, "Delta Departures, Door 4" I have never used the Memphis airport and my dad has never driven in the airport area. For example, when we pick up people at the Minneapolis airport, we usually find the baggage level, door 2, the easiest.

It sounds like it is something a person should be able to handle easily on their own, I'm sure. I am a very frequent traveler, but I do know that it can be difficult to find an easy place to meet someone at an unfamiliar airport, especially by car, especially when old, in ill health and frazzled by the details of getting home in uncertain times.

Posted by
6060 posts

How about just having them look for your airline name (e.g. Delta) under Departures, where people are dropped off for their flights? You don't need to know any door number because the airport signage is more than good enough to direct people. I flew into Memphis once and it wasn't an overwhelming airport by any means. If your parents have a cell and can call you within some minutes of arrival, you can just sit inside by a window (if necessary), have them pull up by the curb, and you can pop out when ready.

https://www.flymemphis.com/dropoff-pickup
"Drop Off & Pick Up
Ticketing Counters
For passengers being dropped off to depart on a flight, the departure area is on the upper-level drive. Once on airport grounds, just follow the “Ticketing” overhead signage to the terminal and take the right lanes to the upper level. Here's a list of the airline ticketing locations:
Terminal A: Allegiant
Terminal B: American, Delta, Southwest
Terminal C: United, Frontier, Air Canada"

Posted by
2445 posts

Jules if Memphis has a cell phone waiting lot perhaps they could follow the signage to that lot, park and call you. At that point you would have already found your outdoor, shaded bench near the Arrivals signage and know your door number or reference point. Then you would tell them to follow the signs from the cell lot to arrivals to your spot (door or other landmark) at arrivals.

Posted by
3280 posts

I would like to wait for them outside. I am flying Delta which I'm sure has more than one drop off door. I need a back up location in case they don't hear my phone, or their phone is dead or any number of reasons. I had this all organized when I was supposed to be flying into Nashville. Nashville's website was great, they had a detailed map with roads, cell phone lots, etc. I found nothing like that on the Memphis Airport website.

I have been to the biggest airports in the U.S. and Europe. It's not like I can't manage an airport. I'm sure I can wing it. But given what has transpired in the last couple days for my parents, I would like to provide my dad the reassurance of a set, prearranged location.

Posted by
3280 posts

Agnes, terminal B is under construction and not being used, or at least that is what the website said.

Posted by
3456 posts

Jules, here are detailed instructions for both upper and lower (baggage) drop off/pick up.
Cell Phone Lot

MEM has a free waiting area less than a minute’s drive from the terminal. Safely and conveniently wait for the "I’m ready for pick up" call, and greet your passenger curbside on the pick-up driveway.
The cell phone lot -- located to the right of the main drive just after you enter the airport grounds -- has been updated with flight information displays with arrival times, improved lighting and landscaping.
Dropping Off & Picking Up

Passengers may be dropped off at the Ticketing (upper) level or Baggage (ground) level of the terminal.

Once on the airport grounds, just follow the signs to the terminal and take the right lanes to the upper level or stay in the center lanes for the ground level.

Remember: Whether picking up or dropping off, try to be as efficient as possible. It’s not just for security purposes – it’s courteous to your fellow travelers.

If your party has extra luggage, or you just want to spend extra time inside the terminal, please park in short-term parking – there are usually spaces near the terminal and the first 30 minutes are free.

Map.

https://www.flymemphis.com/Areas/Admin/Images/EditorImages/EditorIMG_20172212092252.jpg

Posted by
3280 posts

Thanks Gerri. I wish I could find a map, but to know that there is a lot and its close is helpful. I 'm going to beat them there. But, the cell phone lot would be a good place for them to be able to stop and call me.

EDITED TO ADD--Used your link, perfect. I'm not sure why I didn't find the map in my search because I was on the website, but thanks!

Posted by
3456 posts

The map was buried in their parking info, not the easiest to find.

Make sure your parents are aware of weather conditions for tomorrow, they could be driving thru stormy areas.

Posted by
148 posts

So there is also this wonderful feature on google maps where you drop into the road - you can literally give them step by step instructions and tell them what they'll see -
N on I-55, get off at Exit 2, turn right onto route 175/E Shelby Drive, turn left onto Airways Blvd, you will see the airport on your right, there will be alot of fencing. Turn onto Winchester road - right before you turn you'll see alot of parked cars on your left. AS soon as you turn, there's a sign that says INT'L AIRPORT, follow that to the right; stay in the right lane; you will go under a bridge, stay right. There is a blue sign that says CELL PHONE LOT, blah, blah...

If you have the google maps app on your phone you can literally guide them right to you using that feature.

Posted by
3280 posts

Thank you Gerri. I was trying to figure out the airport stuff on the Memphis website while on the phone with Delta, but good to know why I was having difficulty finding a simple map. Thanks for the weather info as well. Hopefully the plan will work out. They will only be on the road alone 3.5 hours today and about the same tomorrow. Dad doesn't like to drive in bad weather so we will hope for the best. He used to teach drivers' training so he is very cautious and knows his limits so that is good.

skunklet1771, great info. I will copy and email that to my parents. It will be good to have my mom read it as dad drives. They don't have iphones, I'm not sure they are up to the challenge of learning that technology.

I knew I would get help here, thanks all