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When it comes to air travel, frequent flyers know which airports are both the best and worst to travel through. Of course, all this is completely subjective — some people thrive on the hectic and congested nature of the busiest airports, while others prefer quieter, smaller airports. In the latter case, the below list of the world’s busiest airports for 2015 may play a part in which hub you choose to fly in or out of this year.

According to preliminary traffic data released by Airports Council International (ACI), Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International (ATL) retains its title as the world’s busiest passenger airport — a spot it’s held for 18 years. More than 100 million passengers passed through ATL in 2015, a 5.5% increase over 2014’s statistics. ATL’s believed to have held this position so long because of its ideal location as a connecting hub in the US — it’s within a two-hour flight of 80% of the US population.

ATL retained its title as the busiest passenger airport in the world.
ATL retained its title as the busiest passenger airport in the world. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) retained the second position in the rankings, and Dubai International Airport (DXB) jumped from No. 6 in 2014 to No. 3 in 2015, with its total passenger traffic growing by 10.7%. DXB was also the busiest airport in the world in terms of international passengers, coming in just ahead of London Heathrow (LHR).

Here is the complete Top 10 list for the busiest passenger airports in the world for 2015:

10. Dallas Fort-Worth International (DFW) — 64,072,468 (0.9% increase from 2014; previously No. 9)
9. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) — 65,766,986 (3.1% increase from 2014; previously No. 8)
8. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) — 68,283,407 (8.2% increase from 2014; previously No. 10)
7. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) — 74,937,004 (6.1% increase from 2014; previously No. 5)
6. London Heathrow Airport (LHR) — 74,989,795 (2.2% increase from 2014; previously No. 3)
5. Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) — 75,316,718 (3.4% increase from 2014; previously No. 4)
4. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) — 76,949,504 (9.8% increase from 2014; previously No. 7)
3. Dubai International Airport (DXB) — 78,010,265 (10.7% increase from 2014; previously No. 6)
2. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) — 89,938,628 (4.4% increase from 2014; previously No. 2)
1. Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International (ATL) — 101,491,106 (5.5% increase from 2014; previously No. 1)

In all, air travel has increased year-over-year from 2014. The total amount of passengers have increased 6.1% and total international passengers have increased 6.3%. ACI’s preliminary data is based on submissions by 1,144 major commercial airports, and a final version will be released later this year. Of course, many of these busy airports have plenty of benefits — from lounge access to a wide variety of hotel and food options.

Which of the busiest airports in the world is your favorite?


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