Las Vegas airport just had its busiest month ever

Nov 27, 2019

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If you traveled through Las Vegas last month, it may have been a little more difficult than usual to find a seat or get your turn on the airside slot machines.

That’s because in October more passengers traveled through the city’s McCarran International Airport (LAS) than ever before: more than 4.6 million people, up from about 4.4 million in October 2018 according to the airport.

“This is an ongoing trend over the last three years of setting new records,” Joe Rajchel, spokesman for the Clark County Department of Aviation that runs the airport, said in an email statement. “Las Vegas continues to grow and add unique attractions and experiences that draw visitors here. As part of this, airlines are bringing more seats into the market and making it even easier for people to fly to Las Vegas.”

Southwest Airlines has been the top carrier at Las Vegas for more than a decade, and that remained true during the airport’s record-setting October. The carrier accounted for a combined 1.5 million arrivals and departures, or about 36% of all passenger traffic in Las Vegas for the month.  Still, Southwest’s LAS traffic was down nearly 7% compared to October 2018, a decline that comes as Southwest grapples with the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX. 

Related: Las Vegas sets flat rate taxi fares between the airport and the Strip

Still, Southwest’s passenger count as Las Vegas was more than double that of the No. 2 carrier. Spirit carried 489,315 Las Vegas passengers in October, enough to place ahead of No. 3 Delta (454,797) and No. 4 American (387,596).

This year, more than 43 million passengers have already traveled through the airport, putting it on a pace that could allow it to top 50 million annual travelers for the first time ever.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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