Stats: The U.S. Airports With the Most Crowded Flights

egdigital/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
Photo by egdigital/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Scoring a seat on a plane with no one sitting next to you is an unexpected perk, but it’s more likely to happen at some airports than others. That’s why has rounded up the airports in the United States with the most crowded flights, based on an analysis of 2018 flight data. 

According to the study, Denver International Airport had the most crowded flights, with 36.7 million available seats on departing flights in 2018, approximately 31.7 million of which were occupied. That translates to an occupancy rate of 86.4 percent. Orlando International Airport was the second-most crowded; while it saw less overall traffic than Denver, with only 27.3 million available seats, the average flight was filled to 85.6 percent of capacity. Another Colorado airport, Colorado Springs, also had around 85 percent capacity, with 1.05 million total available seats on departing flights. 

Smaller airports tended to have the least crowded flights. For example, Dayton International Airport in Ohio only had a 72.6 percent occupancy rate on its 1.2 million departing seats. Kona International Airport in Hawaii and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Alaska were the second- and third-least-crowded, respectively. One outlier: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington DC was one of the larger airports to rank in the bottom 20 in the study, with 14.47 million departing seats and an occupancy rate of only 78.8 percent. 


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Here's the list of the 10 U.S. airports with the most crowded flights:

  1. Denver International Airport
  2. Orlando International Airport
  3. Colorado Springs Airport 
  4. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  5. St. Pete – Clearwater International Airport
  6. Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
  7. Newark Liberty International Airport
  8. Albany International Airport
  9. Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport
  10. Los Angeles International Airport

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