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MEM Complaints?  
User currently offlineZvenk From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 4 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2092 times:

We are a student group at UC Berkeley studying the Memphis International Airport for a Master Plan Update. Please share any complaints or issues you have experienced at MEM.

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6330 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (6 years 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2062 times:

Aside from being a bit run down, I love MEM. Easy to get around, decent BBQ to eat, cheap internet (though not free...). The walk from regional jets to mainline can be a bit long but, otherwise, I have no complaints really.

Have fun.


User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (6 years 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2044 times:

The issue with the runway layout should be addressed. There was a discussion a while back about the possibility of using the perpendicularly-angled runways for staggered take-offs and landings. It would have had some planes taking off over an active perpendicular runway while planes would be landing.


Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineAS739X From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 6153 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (6 years 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1965 times:

It is the ugliest terminal I have ever been in. Flew via MEM on a CLE-IAH and it was like a tornado shelter. No in all fairness I was only in the east side of the airport, but it was just a large brick terminal.

ASSFO



"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23057 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (6 years 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1956 times:



Quoting SW733 (Reply 1):
Aside from being a bit run down, I love MEM.

 checkmark  MEM is so ridiculously underutilized that no matter how early or late you show up, you can be pretty sure that your gate will be ready and waiting.

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 2):
The issue with the runway layout should be addressed.

3 parallels is more than sufficient. I've never waited behind more than about 3 aircraft to depart, nor have I ever had to hold approaching MEM.

Quoting SW733 (Reply 1):
The walk from regional jets to mainline can be a bit long

That's the biggest problem, but I'm not sure there's a good solution. Of course, if you have the good fortune of being on a regional flight that's using B, it's a moot point.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineNwaesc From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 3391 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (6 years 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1943 times:



Quoting AS739X (Reply 3):
It is the ugliest terminal I have ever been in.

What, you don't like beige bricks? Lots and lots of beige bricks?  Big grin

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 4):
That's the biggest problem, but I'm not sure there's a good solution. Of course, if you have the good fortune of being on a regional flight that's using B, it's a moot point.

They have improved it a little by making so you can go to/through A, B, & C without having to go out-and then back through-security.



"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (6 years 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1943 times:



Quote:
3 parallels is more than sufficient. I've never waited behind more than about 3 aircraft to depart, nor have I ever had to hold approaching MEM.

Agreed - however, I am referring to the plan that simultaneously utilizes both sets of perpendicular runways, leading to the potential for a mid-air collision. It's a bad idea, and as you pointed out, totally unnecessary. It should be removed from any consideration.

If there are three parallel runways, the others should be deactivated, kept only for emergency use, or torn up for better utilization of the grounds of MEM. That, or shelve the dual-perpendicular-runway thing altogether.



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23057 posts, RR: 20
Reply 7, posted (6 years 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1932 times:

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 6):
Agreed - however, I am referring to the plan that simultaneously utilizes both sets of perpendicular runways, leading to the potential for a mid-air collision.

They'll sometimes use 27 and 18R for arrivals, leaving either 18C or 18L for departures. I think that's fairly safe. It's 27 and 18C that concerns me.

Edited to remove the nonsense

[Edited 2008-09-09 18:46:48]


I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineATLFlyer323 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 617 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1925 times:

While I can not say that I have ever flown to MEM, I do fly a lot out of ATL, and noticed a huge difference in appearance when they tiled the floors instead of carpet. It made the terminals seems brighter and bigger. I don't know if MEM is carpet still or not.

Just a thought,
Brandon



Everyday, the fluffy temptation of wheat!
User currently offlineFLYjoe From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 292 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1894 times:

I think the biggest thing is just the terminal is old and has a rundown feel to it. Go down in the baggage claim areas and it feels like a dungeon. The gate areas are very easy to navigate through from the view as one who has connected there and started/ended a trip in MEM.

When you compare MEM to other hub airports, it's just lacking, IMO mainly because of the the looks. Unfortunately there's very limited chance we see any major capital improvements to the airport with the uncertainty of the NW/DL hub. Yeah, I know DL says the hub stays, but most of us aren't buying it.


User currently offlineAs739x From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 6153 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (6 years 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1884 times:



Quoting Nwaesc (Reply 5):

Well I felt better in case a F5 rolled thru......

ASSFO



"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7593 posts, RR: 27
Reply 11, posted (6 years 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1867 times:



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 4):
MEM is so ridiculously underutilized that no matter how early or late you show up, you can be pretty sure that your gate will be ready and waiting.



Quoting Nwaesc (Reply 5):
What, you don't like beige bricks? Lots and lots of beige bricks?



Quoting FLYjoe (Reply 9):
When you compare MEM to other hub airports, it's just lacking, IMO mainly because of the the looks. Unfortunately there's very limited chance we see any major capital improvements to the airport with the uncertainty of the NW/DL hub. Yeah, I know DL says the hub stays, but most of us aren't buying it.

While MEM may not have the eye-catching appeal and flashiness of other hub sites, it is still very much functional. There is ample capacity, available gates, and the layout does not inhibit operations. A key benefit of MEM that it is a very lost-cost facility to operate as a hub. Due to the lack of debt and the huge FedEx operation, landing fees are very low and airport rent is very reasonable.

The future of MEM in the NW+DL network is very uncertain. At a minimum it will remain a focus city with nonstops to key business & leisure destinations. The future as a full-blown hub with service to small/medium/large cities remains uncertain. Will NW+DL retain service to all of the third-tier turboprop markets? Will MEM remain AMS service? Will MEM retain RJ service to 2nd tier markets in the Midwest/Northeast/Mid-Atlantic? Those all are unknown at this point.

Building a huge new terminal would be completely financially irresponsible at this time. NW isn't demanding it nor is the local community. Right now MEM is in a wait-and-see approach. As said, the facilities aren't exactly world-class, but they aren't obsolete. They work for the time-being, and on the scale for which NW's MEM hub is structured today.


User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 12, posted (6 years 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1861 times:

The only complaint I have with the MEM terminal is at hubbing hours, the concourses get
real narrow real fast. They need to be about 6 to 8 feet wider but doing this is not an option because of cost, inconvenience to the pax during construction and uncertainty of MEM staying a hub of its size after the NW-DL merger is completed.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineTheGov From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 416 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (6 years 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1833 times:



Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 12):
The only complaint I have with the MEM terminal is at hubbing hours, the concourses get real narrow real fast. They need to be about 6 to 8 feet wider but doing this is not an option because of cost, inconvenience to the pax during construction and uncertainty of MEM staying a hub of its size after the NW-DL merger is completed.

As someone who has actually worked in MEM, this would be my only complaint. Terminal B is too narrow and can become very crowded, very fast. Terminals A & C were built years after B and were built wider. Believe it or not, there have been tremendous improvements at MEM over the past few years with the entrance to the B gates and the international arrivals area being the areas that received the most improvements.

Before Republic established their hub in MEM in 1985, the only carriers who used terminal B were Piedmont, United, USAir and Skyways. PI and UA were in the first few gates with US and Skyways being out past the Y.

And prior to that, I seem to recall that Braniff used a number of gates in Terminal B. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall where Republic was prior to the build up. I guess the were in C with AA and TW.



Always a pallbearer, never a corpse.
User currently offlineJohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1659 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (6 years 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1812 times:

Back in the Day, pre-1985:

A:
Pretty much all Delta - they had a hub in Memphis, remember.

B:
Southern/Republic/Northwest
United
Braniff

C:
American
Piedmont
Allegheny/US Air
Frontier
Eastern (at least for their second go at Memphis service; I believe they were in B for their first round)
Air Atlanta
TWA

For some reason Piedmont's ticket counter was in B, and US Airways' counter remains there today, despite their gates being in C.


User currently offlineSNCntry32 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1772 times:



Quoting SW733 (Reply 1):
The walk from regional jets to mainline can be a bit long but, otherwise, I have no complaints really.

Really? Have you ever flown through MSP?

Out of the three NW hubs, MEM is my favorite. Short taxis, short walks, great food, friendly staff. The airport may not be an architechual wonder, but it does its job very well. IMHO she will serve the new global airline very very well.

MEM had the best ontime arrival record last year FYI



Long Live Memphis!
User currently offlineCsavel From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1365 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (6 years 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1758 times:



Quoting AS739X (Reply 3):
It is the ugliest terminal I have ever been in.

Actually, it is really a signature googie/brutalist monument that hasn't changed in 40 years. I *like* it because of that. It doesn't look like a cookie-cutter McAirport. Maybe could use a cleaning and a paint job. Plus considering how underutilized it is, it works mostly.

My biggest complaint when i was a regular traveller there was the damned Cinnabon which I swear piped the smell throughout the airport. Really wrecks a diet.



I may be ugly. I may be an American. But don't call me an ugly American.
User currently offlineStratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1653 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (6 years 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1747 times:



Quoting Csavel (Reply 16):
My biggest complaint when i was a regular traveller there was the damned Cinnabon which I swear piped the smell throughout the airport. Really wrecks a diet.

LOL that is so true....



NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlineRw717 From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1689 times:

It is certainly better than DTW was before the new terminal. As a former NW employee I can honestly say that had to be the absolute biggest piece of s**t I have ever seen.


Reno Air - The Biggest Little Airline in the World
User currently offlineM404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2226 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (6 years 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1674 times:
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As far as your "Master Plan" is concerned I'd think hardest about how you would finance it. With the very low O & D of this airport it has to exist by offering low rates and combine it with fairly consistant good weather. Any big improvements will increase costs to a county that is currently very low in it's ability to get decent bond prices. They are overextended now. Add to that the current questions about Deltas sincerity or ability to keep the hub alive after the merger so many say they are keen on and you have a board and a city/county pretty worried about it existing in it's present form much less expanded or "improved". As for the simple quick improved look. Increase the ceiling height of the gate areas. There, your done.


Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12251 posts, RR: 35
Reply 20, posted (6 years 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1672 times:
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Quoting SNCntry32 (Reply 15):
Really? Have you ever flown through MSP?

Nothing like a 31 minute connection from F15 to A14  Smile



911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 21, posted (6 years 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1623 times:



Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 20):
Nothing like a 31 minute connection from F15 to A14

I can second that emotion. A14 is just outside Rochester, isn't it?
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineSNCntry32 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1616 times:



Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 21):
I can second that emotion. A14 is just outside Rochester, isn't it?

Stillwater, MI if IIRC.
F15 is is Richfield.



Long Live Memphis!
User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7546 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (6 years 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1583 times:

I love the old feel of the Memphis airport, feels like the good ole south when you go through it, I don't think i would like going through MEM if it was the likes of DTW or anything. DTW's airport fits DTW, just like I don't think DTW's airport would go well in the Cities area and such.


"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineRedtailmsp From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 208 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (6 years 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1557 times:

Complaints/thoughts about MEM -

1. Some NWA connection times are very tight - if your inbound is late for any reason, you may very well miss your outbound. If this is so during the evening bank, then you are stranded.

2. Seems to be a lack of cohesion between mainline NWA and the commuters regarding holding of commuter connections.

3. Bathrooms don't seem to be cleaned very often. Practically everytime I fly into/through MEM, I notice this.

4. General upkeep of the concourses is poor. With so much downtime between pushes of flights, there is no excuse for this. I see many worn/dirty/torn seats.

5. Between pushes, it is embarassing to see so many employees lounging around with nothing to do.

6. As most other responders say, when it is pushtime, you feel like you are in a crowded , narrow subway station.

7. With reference to #1 and the tight connection times, you may not have any time to get any bar-b-que in the food court. I am sure a lot of concessions in MEM miss out on revenue because of this.


25 Cubsrule : NW seems to have expanded the banks a little bit. It seems to me that in the past 1-2 years they've spread out the banks some so that there are relat
26 SNCntry32 : I usually find they are very clean. Spend a day in memphis and you will notice that the airport has everyone in it, or no one it depending on the tim
27 CosmicCruiser : The late 1950s was the dawn of jet aviation. Memphis, however, was just beginning to awaken to life after World War II. Mann and Harrover dipped into
28 Jafa : I agree with most of the above and would like to that it would be nice to be able to exit from customs without passing through security even if MEM is
29 JohnJ : My main complaint with Memphis isn't the facility itself, but the cost of air travel if Memphis is your origination or destination point. It's exorbit
30 AirCatalonia : MEM is great! On 18 august I made an international connection there (flying in from SFO and out to AMS) and the gates were so close that it only took
31 Themightydude : I live in Memphis, and fly out of it quite a bit...at least 25+ times a year. As most people have said, as far as functionality, the airport is great.
32 Sampa737 : As a novice but frequent flyer to my USA hometown (I live in Sao Paulo, Brasil), I tend to concur with most of the statements. I think Memphis is doin
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