Top 10 Busiest Airports Worldwide in 2024

The Airports Council International (ACI) just released its latest report, and it seems like air travel is almost back to normal. In 2023, a whopping 8.5 billion people took to the skies, nearly reaching pre-pandemic levels. Interestingly, several Asian airports made it into the top 10 this year, showing a surge in international travel. Five American airports are in the top ten, so if you’re flying domestically, you might want to steer clear of these travel hotspots or plan your flights around less busy times of day. 

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport's air traffic control tower
Wikimedia Commons / Harrison Keely / CC 4.0

In 2023, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) claimed the title of the world’s busiest airport, handling over 104 million passengers, an 11.7% rise from 2022 but 5.3% below 2019 levels. ATL offers nonstop flights to over 150 domestic and 70 international destinations. The expansive airport also features art exhibits, bookstores, a spa, and high-end stores for travelers with long layovers.

2. Dubai International Airport (DXB)

Dubai International Airport
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Dubai International Airport (DXB) became the second-busiest airport in the world in 2023 with 87 million passengers, up 31.7% from 2022. Hosting over 100 airlines to 240 destinations, it’s a major international hub that offers free Wi-Fi and top-notch amenities like luxury lounges, currency exchange services and dozens of restaurants.

3. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
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Dallas/Fort Worth International ranked as the third busiest airport in 2023 with 81.8 million passengers, showing an 11.4% increase from 2022 and 8.9% from 2019. DFW is the second-largest airport in the United States, covering an area bigger than Manhattan. That means that you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of time to make it to your gate when you’re flying out of this airport.

4. Heathrow Airport (LHR)

Heathrow Airport
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Heathrow Airport (LHR) served 79.2 million passengers last year, marking a 28.5% increase from 2022 but still 2.1% less than in 2019. As the UK’s primary international hub, Heathrow connects to 214 destinations in 84 countries and hosts 89 airlines, typically handling long-haul international flights.

5. Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)

Tokyo Haneda Airport
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Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND) saw a 55% increase in passengers in 2023, reaching about 78.7 million and jumping from 16th to 5th busiest globally. HND features excellent facilities across three terminals, offering domestic and international flights, unique shopping options at Edo Marketplace, and dining in Tokyo Pop Town.

6. Denver International Airport (DEN)

Denver International Airport
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In 2023, Denver International Airport handled 77.8 million passengers, a 12.3% increase from 2022 and 12.8% more than in 2019, indicating a return to pre-pandemic levels. As a key transfer hub, Denver’s unique airport features shopping, entertainment, award-winning architecture, and stunning Rocky Mountain views.

7. Istanbul Airport (IST)

Istanbul Airport
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In 2023, Istanbul Airport saw a whopping 76 million passengers, ranking it as the seventh busiest airport globally, up 46% compared to 2019. Serving flights to 350 destinations in 110 countries, IST is expected to handle over 200 million passengers annually by 2025. Plus, there’s plenty to do in Istanbul if you’re stuck there during a long layover!

8. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) 

LAX Airport
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LAX ranks as the world’s 8th busiest airport, handling 75.1 million passengers in 2023, up 13.8% from 2022 but 14.8% below 2019 levels. It offers a range of unique and luxury shopping options and affordable international flights. If you’re looking for a less hectic way to fly into Southern California, try to schedule your flight through nearby Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) instead!

9. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

The Terminal 1 underground tunnel connects Concourses B and C
Wikimedia Commons / InSapphoWeTrust / CC 2.0

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) handled nearly 74 million passengers in 2023, ranking ninth globally. This marks an 8.1% increase from 2022 but is still 12.7% below 2019 levels. With over 560 daily domestic flights and 45 international ones, it’s expected to be one of the busiest airports in America this summer.

10. Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)

Inside View of Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport
Wikimedia Commons / Bharatahs / CC 4.0

India has a population of over 1.4 billion people, so it shouldn’t be surprising that DEL is the world’s tenth-busiest airport. In 2023, over 72.2 million passengers visited the airport. With 69 airlines operating at the airport, it’s not surprising that India’s travel scene is booming, and it might be the fastest-growing travel destination in 2024.

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