These U.S. Airports Are Among the Busiest in the World, According to Annual Ranking

Something to consider when planning holiday travel this year.

The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport remains the busiest airport in the world in October as the country and the world gears up for a crowded holiday travel season. 

The Atlanta airport, which has held the title for years, has seen 4.7 million seats occupied so far in October, a 3% increase compared to last month, according to airline data company OAG. That was followed by Dubai International Airport and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, which have each seen an increase of 5% since September. 

Travelers at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in Atlanta, Georgia,

Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport came in at No. 4 on the list with just over 3.75 million seats occupied so far this month, while Denver International Airport took the No. 5 spot with just over 3.7 seats occupied so far in October. 

Atlanta was the busiest airport in the world for years before being temporarily dethroned in 2020 by Guangzhou Bai Yun International Airport. The airport regained its title last year.

The busiest airports in the world include both domestic and international flights, but when it comes to just international flights, Dubai takes the cake as all of its more than 4.1 million seats are international. 

That was followed by London’s Heathrow Airport, which will lift passenger capacity restrictions at the end of the month after limiting departures to 100,000 passengers over the summer in an effort to keep up with air travel demand and minimize disruptions. Amsterdam’s Airport Schiphol, which took the No. 3 spot for international flights, has also limited departures since the summer and chose to extend those caps through the end of March 2023. 

The data comes as the world prepares for what is predicted to be a busy — and expensive — holiday period. In the United States alone, 47% of people surveyed recently indicated they plan to travel over the holiday break and almost half of those plan to fly.

Prices are also rising to match with experts predicting holiday prices will reach the highest they’ve been in five years, especially over Christmas.

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