Most popular flights out of 20 major airports

Published by: Katrina Sirotta8 June, 2022

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Most popular flights out of 20 major airports

After a year of pandemic-induced isolation in the U.S., air travel began to pick up again in 2021. Many people traveled for work, while others cooped up at home decided to go on a much-needed vacation.

Last year, 674 million passengers flew on U.S. airlines, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. While that number seems like a big one—it’s 83% more than the year before—it still remains below pre-pandemic levels.

To shed more light on the state of travel in the U.S., luggage storage app Bounce examined flight data from the Department of Transportation to find the most popular destinations from major U.S. airports in 2021, the latest information available. The data only includes domestic flights, as reported by U.S. airlines. In the event of a tie, the most popular location in 2020 was used.

Unsurprisingly, the most popular destinations were warm-weather spots like Los Angeles and Orlando; however, there are a few surprises on the list, as well.

As the country continues to emerge from the lingering pandemic, new travel trends have also emerged. Corporate travel—which made up a large portion of air and hotel spending—has made a slow rebound. Business travel is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels this year, according to a 2022 Deloitte outlook report.

The age of travelers may also be shifting. Travelers over age 55, who were projected to be a large share of travelers before the pandemic, are now less likely than 18-34 year olds to take a trip, the report also found. This continues the trend in 2021, when 18-34 years took an average of 2.7 trips. This was higher compared to 35-54 year olds (2.4 average trips) and those 55 years and older (1.7 average trips).

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Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)

  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Top destination: Denver, Colorado

  • Travelers in 2021: 690,690

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General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport (BOS)

  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts

  • Top destination: Orlando, Florida

  • Travelers in 2021: 594,460

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Detroit Metro Wayne County (DTW)

  • Location: Detroit, Michigan

  • Top destination: Atlanta, Georgia

  • Travelers in 2021: 682,330

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Minneapolis-St. Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain Field (MSP)

  • Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Top destination: Phoenix, Arizona

  • Travelers in 2021: 641,880

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San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

  • Location: San Francisco, California

  • Top destination: Los Angeles, California

  • Travelers in 2021: 795,540

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Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

  • Location: Newark, New Jersey

  • Top destination: Orlando, Florida

  • Travelers in 2021: 971,460

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Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL)

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • Top destination: Atlanta, Georgia

  • Travelers in 2021: 1.1 million

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John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

  • Location: Queens, New York

  • Top destination: Los Angeles, California

  • Travelers in 2021: 1.1 million

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George Bush Intercontinental/Houston Airport (IAH)

  • Location: Houston, Texas

  • Top destination: Denver, Colorado

  • Travelers in 2021: 741,410

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Miami International Airport (MIA)

  • Location: Miami, Florida

  • Top destination: New York, New York

  • Travelers in 2021: 917,830

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Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

  • Location: Seattle, Washington

  • Top destination: Anchorage, Alaska

  • Travelers in 2021: 844,500

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Orlando International Airport (MCO)

  • Location: Orlando, Florida

  • Top destination: Atlanta, Georgia

  • Travelers in 2021: 1.1 million

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Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

  • Location: Phoenix, Arizona

  • Top destination: Denver, Colorado

  • Travelers in 2021: 1 million

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Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)

  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Top destination: Los Angeles, California

  • Travelers in 2021: 923,540

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Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)

  • Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Top destination: Orlando, Florida

  • Travelers in 2021: 614,650

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Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

  • Location: Los Angeles, California

  • Top destination: New York, New York

  • Travelers in 2021: 1.1 million

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Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois

  • Top destination: Los Angeles, California

  • Travelers in 2021: 948,890

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Denver International Airport (DEN)

  • Location: Denver, Colorado

  • Top destination: Phoenix, Arizona

  • Travelers in 2021: 1.0 million

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Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

  • Location: Fort Worth, Texas

  • Top destination: Los Angeles, California

  • Travelers in 2021: 992,140

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Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia

  • Top destination: Orlando, Florida

  • Travelers in 2021: 1.1 million

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