BERLIN – 26 June 2019 – For the first time, travelers can plan how long it takes to exit airports. Worldwide, travelers’ median time from a plane’s arrival until they are on their way is 23 minutes after domestic flights and 38 minutes – a 65% increase – after international flights.
Blacklane, the global chauffeur and airport concierge service, completed the first worldwide “seat-to-seat” analysis of travel time. The company compared when guests left airplane seats (flights’ arrival times) to the times guests entered its chauffeured vehicles since August. The data comprised hundreds of thousands of flights at hundreds of airports around the world. The findings reveal the:
• World’s 10 fastest and slowest airports to exit for international arrivals. Luxembourg is the fastest, with a median time of 15.5 minutes. The slowest is Kansai, outside of Osaka, Japan, with a median time of 80.5 minutes.
• 10 fastest and slowest U.S. airports to exit for international and domestic arrivals. For international arrivals, LaGuardia and Phoenix are the fastest with a median exit time of 27 minutes. Orlando is the slowest at 53.5 minutes. For domestic flights, Columbus, Ohio comes first with a median exit time of 12 minutes. Charlotte is the slowest at 32 minutes.
• Rank of the 20 busiest worldwide airports for international arrivals. Munich’s 30-minute median time is first, followed by Frankfurt at 33 minutes and Singapore at 36 minutes.
• Differences among business travelers and larger groups.
“When the plane lands, travelers’ first thoughts are getting to their destination. The last thing they want is to linger at the airport,” said Jens Wohltorf, CEO and co-founder of Blacklane. “The most exasperating part of a trip is often the time and distance between the airplane and the car. Riding with a chauffeur is typically travelers’ best-case scenario. Other forms of airport transportation often require walking further or waiting longer until they’re in the vehicle, extending the time until travelers are on their way.”
Blacklane’s research includes the total time for travelers to exit aircraft, gather luggage, clear customs and immigration, and walk to vehicles with chauffeurs. The data do not take into account nationality, priority status, age, or checked vs. carry-on luggage. Additionally, Blacklane counts flights within the Schengen Area as domestic since the participating 26 European nations do not enforce border controls among one another.
International Arrivals Go Quickest at Smaller European Airports
Ten of the 11 fastest airports in the world for international arriving passengers are in Europe. First is Luxembourg, where arriving international travelers need a median time of 15.5 minutes to get from the airplane into a chauffeured vehicle. Rotterdam closely follows at 16 minutes.
Many of the fastest airports are a major city’s secondary airport – or smaller. Milan’s second- and third-largest airports, Bergamo (BGY) and Linate (LIN), take just over 20 minutes for passengers to reach vehicles. London City (LCY) is London’s fifth-largest airport. Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) handles 40% less passenger traffic than Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG).
A couple of important factors for their short exit times are the smaller sizes of planes and airport terminals. A major factor in Europe is that E.U. airports typically group E.U. and U.K. citizens together through immigration control. Many assign more immigration officers and deploy new technology, like electronic passport scans and biometric readers, to speed these travelers through.
10 Fastest Airports to Exit: International Arrivals (11 due to ties)
Large Cities Lead the List of Slowest Airports for International Arrivals
Conversely, five countries’ largest cities have the world’s slowest airports for arriving international travelers. Tokyo, Santiago, Dubai, Buenos Aires and Mexico City all take at least 52 minutes as a median time for passengers to get to their vehicles.
The slowest airport is Kansai International Airport (KIX), serving Osaka. This is perhaps due in part to having the longest airport terminal in the world at 1.1 miles (1.7 kilometers).
10 Slowest Airports to Exit: International Arrivals
As with Europe, Smaller Airports in U.S. Get Travelers Through Faster
In the U.S., New York LaGuardia (LGA) and Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) got arriving travelers through the quickest and are the only two with a median time under 30 minutes. LaGuardia’s international traffic comes from Canada, simplifying the immigration process for arriving travelers.
10 Fastest U.S. Airports to Exit: International Arrivals
Major Tourist Destinations and Hubs Are the Slowest U.S. Airports for International Arrivals
On the other side, major hubs and tourist destinations are the slowest airports for international flyers entering the U.S. Four take 50 minutes or longer.
Two of these top 10 take notably longer than their smaller neighbors. San Francisco’s (SFO’s) median time is 45 minutes, compared with 31 for San Jose (SJC). Newark (EWR) is 45 minutes, compared to LaGuardia’s 27. JFK’s median international exit time is 41 minutes.
10 Slowest U.S. Airports to Exit: International Arrivals
Texas and California Dominate the Fastest Domestic Exit Times
Columbus, Ohio (CMH) has the fastest median time for arriving domestic travelers to exit, at 12 minutes. California has four airports among the fastest: San Jose, Burbank (BUR), Oakland (OAK) and John Wayne (SNA, in Santa Ana). Texas also has four: San Antonio (SAT), Austin (AUS) and both Dallas airports (DFW and DAL). All of these get travelers into the car in under a 20-minute median timeframe.
Both San Jose and Austin rank on the top 10 lists for both international and domestic arrivals, with San Jose placing third and second, respectively.
10 Fastest U.S. Airports to Exit: Domestic Arrivals (12 due to ties)
Most of Slowest Airports for Domestic Arrivals Were Also Slowest for International
The slowest airports for domestic arrivals include six that were also among the slowest for international arrivals. However, the slowest airport for domestic arrivals – Charlotte (CLT) – was one of the fastest for international arrivals. In fact, arriving international passengers in Charlotte need only four more minutes than domestic arriving passengers (36 minutes vs. 32 minutes) to board their chauffeured vehicle.
Las Vegas also made the list for fastest international (35 minutes) and slowest domestic (27 minutes) exit times.
10 Slowest U.S. Airports to Exit: Domestic Arrivals (11 due to ties)
At World’s Busiest International Airports, Europe Again Performs Best
Among the ranking of the 20 busiest international airports in 2018, European airports were the most efficient at getting travelers on their way. The continent had nine of the 12 fastest airports, including the top two, Munich and Frankfurt.
New York JFK is the only U.S. airport on the top 20 list, and it comes in 13th place at 41 minutes.
A higher volume of international passengers does not necessarily mean a longer exit time. For example, Frankfurt (FRA) had 61.8 million international passengers and Munich (MUC) had 36.5 million, but Frankfurt passengers took only three minutes longer to exit. These airports also handle a varying percentage of international travelers who connect through a hub versus arriving at their final destinations.
20 Largest Airports: Minutes from International Flight Arrival to Boarding Chauffeured Vehicle
** Note: IST data comes mainly from Istanbul Ataturk Airport (ISL), which formerly used the IST code.
Road Warriors Get on the Road Quickly
Business travelers are known for their expertise in navigating airports and saving time. The new data further confirms this. Blacklane’s business account travelers exit the airport after domestic arrivals in a median time of 17 minutes. All other travelers have a median exit time of 24 minutes – a 41% increase.
For international arrivals, business travelers leave the airport in a 30-minute median time. All other travelers take 39 minutes, 30% longer.
Larger Groups Should Plan for Longer Exit Times
Blacklane guests can book rides in executive-level sedans that seat up to three passengers or chauffeur-quality SUVs and business vans that accommodate up to five passengers. For the rides in larger vehicles – typically indicating more passengers and/or more luggage – travelers took nine extra minutes to be on their way, for both domestic and international flights.
Domestically, sedan guests took a median of 22 minutes to board their Blacklane vehicles after domestic flights and 31 minutes when taking a business van or SUV. Internationally, the times were 37 and 48 minutes, respectively.
Global and Regional Data Available
Blacklane’s blog has the full global and regional analysis of international and domestic airport exit data.
About Blacklane (blacklane.com) Upgrade your travels with Blacklane. We bring peace of mind to the most stressful part of travel: between the front door and airplane gate. Chauffeurs and airport concierges ensure guest safety, efficiency, and comfort across more than 500 airports, 300 cities, and 60 countries. Book your Blacklane service at all-inclusive rates on our website or mobile apps or via distribution and channel partners.