This Is the Busiest Airplane Route in America

Regardless of how busy the cities themselves are, some airport pairs send more traffic back and forth than others. Can you guess the most popular route?

Airplane06photo/ShutterstockSome cities are more popular destinations for fliers than others. For instance, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta is the busiest airport in America, according to the Airports Council International. But it isn’t part of the most popular flight route between cities.

Routes Online took data from air travel data company OAG’s schedule analyzer to figure out the busiest route in the Americas. Between North and South America, the busiest flight route is between Sao Paulo Congonhas and Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont. The route between the Brazilian hubs sees more than 4 million passengers every year, according to Routes Online. (Every passenger should quit making these 16 airport mistakes before their next flight.)

In just the United States, the most popular route by far runs between Los Angeles International and John F. Kennedy International in New York. In a single year, 2.9 million passengers take a flight from one to the other, making it the third most high-traffic plane route in the Americas. The 2,474-mile trip costs $337.66 on average. (Those 2,000 miles make it way longer than the shortest flight in America, which lasts just 16 minutes.)

Another New York airport, LaGuardia, is part of the country’s second most popular flight route, between LGA and Chicago O’Hare, which sees 2.4 million passengers every year. (LGA also happens to be the country’s worst airport; find out what its $8 billion makeover has in store.) Los Angeles makes another appearance on the list, too, because the third most traveled air route goes between LA and San Francisco, with 2.2 million travelers.

Here’s a full list of the five busiest U.S. air routes:

RankRoute between citiesNumber of passengers
1Los Angeles International (LAX) and New York JFK (JFK)2,873,316
2New York LaGuardia (LGA) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD)2,362,480
3San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles International (LAX)2,238,043
4Los Angeles International (LAX) and Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)1,990,802
5San Francisco (SFO) and New York JFK (JFK)1,844,864

For more airport facts, find out the cheapest and most expensive airports in America. and the most expensive flights on Earth.

[Source: Travel + Leisure]

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s Medscape.com and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.