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Airport Travel: Hotter than Ever

Caroline Wu
Aug 11, 2023
Airport Travel: Hotter than Ever

If last summer unleashed the domestic travel genie out of the bottle, this summer we are seeing reports that international outbound travel for Americans is the hot ticket, particularly for Europe. Looking retrospectively, current summer travel is outpacing summer 2017, on par with 2018, and close to the 2019 peak.

Overall, U.S. airport visits were up year-over-year during the first half of 2023, including a +9% for July 2023.

Looking at the most recent month, July, the weeks of July 10th and July 17th surpassed the week of July 4th in terms of year-over-year visitation.

In fact, July 4th was actually the least traveled day in the entire month of July as people stayed put to barbecue, enjoy pool parties, and catch some fireworks.

In the U.S., the reigning airport for visits from Jan-July 2023 was ATL (Jackson Atlanta International Airport), followed by LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) and JFK (John F Kennedy International Airport) in New York. Of these top airports, ATL saw the greatest year-over-year increase at +16%, followed by LAX at +12% and EWR at +11%

It’s always interesting to see the personas that are driving any given behavior, which we can see through using PersonaLive. At ATL, visits were driven by Ultra Wealthy Families (22%), Young Professionals (15%), and Urban Low Income (13%).  LAX and JFK had more similar segments traveling. LAX had the most Educated Urbanites (23%) and Near-Urban Diverse Families (20%), followed by 11% Ultra-Wealthy Families. JFK had similar proportions of Near-Urban Diverse Families (26%), Educated Urbanites (21%), followed up with Urban Low Income (14%).

Airports PersonaLive 8.4.23

The travelers with the highest median HHI came from EWR ($83K) and from Denver ($86K).

Median HHI Airports 8.4.23

By ethnicity, the greatest proportion of Black travelers were at ATL (23%), and LAX had the most Hispanics (31%) and Asians (16%).

Airports Ethnicity 8.4.23

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Caroline Wu

Director of Research,

Caroline brings expertise in retail, CRE, entertainment, media, CPG, and tourism, and specializes in synthesizing broad datasets into actionable recommendations for growth. She has worked as the US Director of Consumer Insights at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, VP of Retail Insights and Intelligence at Omnicom, and Senior Director at Kantar. Caroline holds an MA in Sociology from Stanford University and a BA in International Relations from Stanford University.

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