America’s top twenty busiest airports served over 600m passengers last year with the top five serving nearly half of those. It would make a good trivia question to ask someone to name the top five and you’d be right to suggest that Chicago and Los Angeles would be in the list but would you be surprised to find that New York’s JFK and Washington’s Dulles didn’t make it? Instead the rest of the top five are made up of Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson, Denver’s International and Dallas’ Fort Worth Airport.
What makes these airports busier than the most popular cities on the North American continent? Is it something that other tourists have been missing for all these years?
No.1 - Atlanta
is huge, the world’s busiest airport, serving 92m passengers last year. It serves the capital of the state of Georgia, in itself considered the capital of the Deep South but Atlanta’s status is because it purposely set itself up as a hub for the whole of North America with flights serving every major airport and many minor ones on the continent. So, few passengers actually stay in Atlanta with an estimated nearly 75% travelling on to a different destination.
No.2 - Chicago
Chicago O’Hare Airport
is easier to understand. It’s a big airport serving a big city that is seen as the kingpin for the whole Midwest. It’s more of a local hub but also serves the needs of tourists who come to the ‘windy city’, the home of blues and jazz, of skyscrapers and the original cityscape.
No.3 - Los Angeles
Los Angeles Airport
weighing in with over 60m passengers last year is another no brainer. The biggest city in one of the most densely populated parts of America, people come to visit the ‘city of angels’ as well as travelling a little further on to San Francisco. Hollywood, LA’s sports teams, its museums and fabulous shopping all attract the tourists.
No.4 - Dallas
and Dallas itself is famed for cowboys, the Texas State Fair, oil, soaps and these days, more and more so, as the shopping capital of the States. No wonder nearly 60m people travelled there last year.
No.5 - Denver
Finally, Denver Airport
completes the top five list. It’s not a huge city when compared to LA, San Francisco or New York but it has many attractions. Although it’s a city, the great outdoors is what drives the people here. Mining is an important industry nearby whilst skiing, hiking, white water rafting and horse riding see the city empty on fair weather weekends.
You might be considering a trip to the ‘Big Apple’ or the USA’s capital but if you want to check out what’s popular, look to the west and discover somewhere new!
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