Chicago O’Hare Unseats Atlanta As USA’s Busiest Airport

USA's Busiest Airport

Courtesy: By Dllu – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Chicago O’Hare Unseats Atlanta As USA’s Busiest Airport

The FAA has released new data that Chicago O’Hare has unseated Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as the country’s busiest airport.  This is the first time in four years that Chicago surpassed Atlanta.

The FAA data shows that O’Hare had 903,000 arrivals and departures in 2018.  Atlanta’s airport was second, with 895,000 arrivals and departures.  O’Hare served 83.4 million passengers in 2018, an increase of 4.5 percent over 2017’s total number of passengers.

Chicago’s growth outpaced Atlanta’s by more than double, as a percentage of increase in passengers.  Chicago will likely continue to grow as United Airlines aims to increase its flights to smaller Midwestern destinations.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago praised the news saying, “Chicago is proud to the home of the best-connected airport in the United States, and now the busiest airport for total flights, as well.  With more people visiting Chicago every year, our modernization programs at O’Hare and Midway will keep passengers connected to our two leading gateway airport, and will fuel new opportunities for the City and the region for years to come.”

It’s unclear how this news has increased the number of travelers actually visiting Chicago.  It’s important to note that Chicago is a transit point for different airlines, and for many people is only a quick stopover rather than a tourist destination.

USA’s Busiest Airports

The top five busiest airports in the United States are:

  1. Chicago O’Hare International Airport
  2. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
  3. Los Angeles International Airport
  4. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
  5. Denver International Airport

Your Thoughts?

What are your thoughts on Chicago O’Hare?  I know my own experience when I regularly flew Delta was pretty bad through Atlanta.  There always seemed to be weather and traffic that impacted my connections.  I sometimes fly through Chicago connecting with American Airlines, but don’t have enough experience with it as my connecting airport to form an opinion on how well it operates for me.


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