Where Travelers Can Find Delta Air Lines Hubs

No matter where you are in the world, you're probably not far from a Delta hub.

delta airlines hartsfield-jackson atlanta international airport hub
Photo: Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images

Based at the world's busiest airport — Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International — Delta Air Lines is the oldest carrier based in the United States. (It's also one of only five legacy carriers, including United Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines, that survived the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act.)

Delta has carried passengers since 1929. It was originally founded in 1924, though it operated exclusively as a crop-dusting service. In its long history, the airline has used many airports as hubs, from Chicago-O'Hare (until the early 1990s), to Germany's Frankfurt airport (until 1997). Cincinnati-CVG was a Delta hub until 2008, while Portland, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Orlando all operated as Delta hubs until the early and mid-2000s. Delta was at Memphis until as recently as 2013.

How Delta Hubs Were Acquired

The carrier also inherited some of its current hubs from former airlines. Minneapolis was once the headquarters for the now-defunct Northwest Airlines, for example. (And it's now Delta's third-largest hub.) Meanwhile, Delta inherited both Los Angeles and Salt Lake City from its 1987 merger with Western Airlines.

Where to Find a Delta Hub

While Atlanta is Delta's largest hub, it uses several other hubs within the United States: Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Salt Lake City, and Seattle. Delta also has international hubs in Amsterdam, London, Paris, Seoul, Mexico City, and Tokyo.

Flying Through a Delta Hub

Today, Delta offers upwards of 4,000 flights per day to more than 275 destinations on 6 continents. The airline is regarded for creating the hub-and-spoke system (connecting smaller, national airports to a single, major airport to improve efficiency) now used by many airlines.

Atlanta is Delta's busiest hub by far (with more than 1,400 daily departures to around 200 destinations). That's more than double the flights of its second-most busy hub, Detroit (with roughly 500 daily departures). Minneapolis and Salt Lake City follow closely behind with more than 400 daily departures each, while New York City-LaGuardia, New York City-JFK, and Seattle see around 200 departures a day.

Delta's international hubs average about 20 flights a day each, with Amsterdam (at 17 daily departures) topping the list.

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