Top 5 Busiest Airports In The U.S. and How To Beat The Queues

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The busiest airports in the world have now been revealed, and airports in the US have taken the top five spots. With some other typically busy airports around the world still struggling with Covid-19 related restrictions that have impacted travel, the US has dominated the list of the world’s busiest airports once more, with air traffic compared to last year also rising significantly as the world pivots towards living with the virus. 

Here’s a look at which airports made the top ten busiest airports in the world list – plus a look at some ideas of how you can try to beat the queues at busy airports wherever you are flying in the world. 

Busiest Airports Revealed – Information For Travelers

The research into the world’s busiest airport was carried out by the industry group Airports Council International World. The findings revealed that Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson reclaimed its pre-pandemic position as the world’s busiest airport, knocking China’s Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport down to eighth place in the process. Hartsfield-Jackson saw a total of 75.7 million passengers in 2021 – a significant increase in 2020, but still some 32% away from 2019’s totals. 

Filling out the rest of the top five were Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in second with 62.5 million passengers, Denver International Airport in third with 58.8 million, and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport in fourth and fifth place respectively, after having missed out on the top ten last year. 

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

Two more US airports – Charlotte and Orlando – were in sixth and seventh position. Guangzhou and Chengdu airports, both in China, came in at eigth and ninth place, whilst Las Vegas filled out the last spot in the top ten. Each of the airports reported significantly fewer passengers than in 2019, but the gap is closing. With travel picking up once more, here are some ideas of how you can hope to beat the queues at airports. 

Beat the Lines at Busy Airports

  1. Check the entry requirements of your destination. The last two years have been hell for travel, with restrictions and requirements seemingly changing at the drop of a hat. Setting aside time at home to make sure you have everything you could save hours of queueing, rejection, and requeueing at the airport – and could even be the difference to making the flight or not
  2. Get there early. In the age of Covid-19, the last-minute traveler is a rare breed, with those who arrive later often falling foul of the increased screening and queue times and missing flights as a result. Get to the airport in good time to avoid snaking queues and last-minute hiccups
  1. Choose your lane wisely. Every traveler can relate to picking a fast-moving queue – only to see it come to a shuddering halt as soon as you join. However, with so many different types of queues – online check-in, business class, bag drop, etc – it’s now more important than ever to make sure you’re in the right lane to check-in, or run the risk of having to snake all the way to the back once more
  2. Get your documents ready. Whether it’s passports, tickets, or test results, don’t be the traveler who holds everyone up by rummaging around in your bag for what you need. Keep them at the top of your bag, grouped together and easy to retrieve to ensure you waltz through check-in and security like a breeze
  1. Prepare your bags for security screening. Despite the rules having been in place for years now, the number of travelers who are surprised that they will end up losing their expensive perfume or lotion is still far too high. Carry on items are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item, and must be placed in a quart-sized resealable bag to ensure you’re through security quickly – and make sure your electronic devices are easily removed too.

6. Find out if your airline has a new ultra-fast self-service bag drop like United just launched across many U.S. airports. The free service is already available at all United hubs in the United States, including New York, Washington DC, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver, letting customers self-check their bag in 1 minute.

7. Pre-book your security time to skip the lineup completely. At LAX and other major airports, you can make an appointment of when you’ll be cruising through security so you don’t have to wait in a general queue.

8. Of course, having a service like CLEAR or TSA-Precheck will help you dodge long wait times, but they do come with a cost.

Read More:

Will The U.S. Airline Mask Mandate End Soon?

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19 In 2022

What It’s Like Visiting The United Kingdom Right Now 

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


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