Skift Take

When you pair rapid development in Asia and the Middle East with slowing growth and low infrastructure investment in Europe and the U.S. you get interesting shifts in airport trends. We've yet to see the huge shifts, but they're coming soon.

Earlier this month we released our third annual Skift State of Travel deck.

In 130+ slides filled with charts, graphs, and data points, we illustrated what’s happened recently across all sectors of the travel industry and what direction it is headed in over the following year.

Below, we’ve pulled out five charts that give us a look at the world’s most active or connected airports by routes, size, and (since we live in a digital world) Wi-Fi too.

Download the State of Travel 2016

Chart 1


We’re slowly — slowly — moving away from the days when passengers would stack up in front of an elite lounge to mooch off the Wi-Fi signal, but there is still a long way to go at most airports until passengers can easily stream a season of Netflix while they wait for their delayed plane (or are stuck in a TSA security line). Expect more investment by airports in their Wi-Fi networks as they realize its’t the cheapest way to keep the masses entertained.

Chart 2


This chart could also be called longest wait times at passport control. Luckily, we’ve seen advances at both New York JFK and other primary entry points that allow automated screening at kiosks. But we still long for a coordinated effort in U.S. airports that you would see in Japan, Denmark, or the Netherlands.

Chart 3


It’s easier to get out of Atlanta than anywhere else. While the U.S. currently dominates this list, we’re seeing rapid growth in China, Turkey, and Dubai that will likely bump a few airports off this list within the coming year.

Chart 4


An interesting mix of cold and warm-weather destinations that really highlights well-run airports over ones that just happen to experience few weather delays.

Chart 5


Atlanta is nestled comfortably atop this list yet again, and faces few threats from the U.S. Internationally, though, Beijing and Dubai are the hunt for the top spot.



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Photo credit: Passengers check-in at the North terminal of the domestic passenger terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta. The airport is on the top of multiple lists measuring airport performance in the U.S. and globally. David Goldman / Associated Press

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