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What Are the Fastest and Slowest Airports to Exit Worldwide?

/EIN News/ -- Blacklane Reveals that Columbus, LaGuardia, and Phoenix Lead in the U.S., and Luxembourg and Munich Excel Worldwide

Blacklane chauffeur collecting guest's luggage before exiting the airport
Blacklane completed the first worldwide analysis of travel time to get from the airplane seat to a chauffeured vehicle, covering hundreds of airports.

Median time to exit airports worldwide
Blacklane finds that travelers’ worldwide median time to exit the aircraft, gather luggage, clear customs and immigration, and walk to their ride is 38 minutes for international flights. After domestic flights, the median time to exit airports is 23 minutes.

Median airport exit time by vehicle type
Travelers requiring a business van or SUV took an extra nine minutes to exit airport terminals after both international and domestic arrivals, compared to travelers departing in a sedan.

Median airport exit time by type of traveler
Blacklane business account travelers exited airport terminals nine minutes faster than other travelers after international flights and seven minutes faster after domestic flights.

Industry’s First Global “Seat-to-Seat” Analysis Shows that Business Travelers and Smaller Groups Exit the Quickest

BERLIN, June 26, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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)

Rank Airport Code City Country Region Median Time (minutes)
1 LUX Luxembourg Luxembourg EMEA 15.5
2 RTM Rotterdam Netherlands EMEA 16
3 (t) BGY Milan Italy EMEA 21
3 (t) BSL Basel France EMEA 21
3 (t) HAJ Hannover Germany EMEA 21
3 (t) LCY London U.K. EMEA 21
3 (t) SOF Sofia Bulgaria EMEA 21
8 (t) CGN Cologne Germany EMEA 22
8 (t) LIN Milan Italy EMEA 22
8 (t) SHA Shanghai China APAC 22
8 (t) TXL Berlin Germany EMEA 22

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

Rank Airport Code City Country Region Median Time (minutes)
1 KIX Kansai Japan APAC 80.5
2 NRT Tokyo Japan APAC 56
3 SCL Santiago Chile Americas 54
4 MCO Orlando U.S. Americas 53.5
5 (t) DPS Denpasar (Bali) Indonesia APAC 53
5 (t) DXB Dubai UAE EMEA 53
5 (t) IAD Washington, D.C. U.S. Americas 53
5 (t) LED St. Petersburg Russia EMEA 53
9 (t) EZE Buenos Aires Argentina Americas 52
9 (t) MEX Mexico City Mexico Americas 52

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

Rank Airport Code City State Median Time (minutes)
1 (t) LGA New York N.Y. 27
1 (t) PHX Phoenix Ariz. 27
3 (t) DTW Detroit Mich. 31
3 (t) SJC San Jose Calif. 31
5 AUS Austin Texas 32
6 FLL Ft. Lauderdale Fla. 34
7 LAS Las Vegas Nev. 35
8 MSP Minneapolis-St. Paul Minn. 35.5
9 (t) CLT Charlotte N.C. 36
9 (t) PHL Philadelphia Pa. 36

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

Rank Airport Code City State Median Time (minutes)
1 MCO Orlando Fla. 53.5
2 IAD Washington D.C. 53
3 (t) HNL Honolulu Hawaii 50
3 (t) LAX Los Angeles Calif. 50
5 SAN San Diego Calif. 47
6 (t) DEN Denver Colo. 46
6 (t) MIA Miami Fla. 46
8 (t) EWR Newark N.J. 45
8 (t) SFO San Francisco Calif. 45
10 ATL Atlanta Ga. 44.5

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)

Rank Airport Code City State Median Time (minutes)
1 CMH Columbus Ohio 12
2 SJC San Jose Calif. 14
3 SAT San Antonio Texas 15
4 (t) BUR Burbank Calif. 16
4 (t) MCI Kansas City Mo. 16
6 (t) AUS Austin Texas 17
6 (t) OAK Oakland Calif. 17
6 (t) PVD Providence R.I. 17
9 DFW Dallas-Ft. Worth Texas 18
10 (t) DAL Dallas Texas 19
10 (t) SNA Santa Ana Calif. 19
10 (t) STL St. Louis Mo. 19

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)

Rank Airport Code City State Median Time (minutes)
1 CLT Charlotte N.C. 32
2 DEN Denver Colo. 31
3 (t) IAD Washington D.C. 30
3 (t) JFK New York N.Y. 30
5 (t) MIA Miami Fla. 29
5 (t) PIT Pittsburgh Pa. 29
5 (t) RSW Ft. Myers Fla. 29
8 HNL Honolulu Hawaii 28
9 LAS Las Vegas Nev. 27
10 (t) ATL Atlanta Ga. 26
10 (t) EWR Newark N.J. 26

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*

Rank Airport Code Metro area Country Region Median Time (minutes)
1 MUC Munich Germany EMEA 30
2 FRA Frankfurt Germany EMEA 33
3 SIN Singapore Singapore APAC 36
4 MAD Madrid Spain EMEA 38
5 (t) AMS Amsterdam Netherlands EMEA 39
5 (t) BKK Bangkok Thailand APAC 39
5 (t) LHR London U.K. EMEA 39
8 (t) BCN Barcelona Spain EMEA 40
8 (t) CDG Paris France EMEA 40
8 (t) IST** Istanbul Turkey EMEA 40
8 (t) LGW London U.K. EMEA 40
8 (t) YYZ Toronto Canada Americas 40
13 JFK New York U.S. Americas 41
14 HKG Hong Kong China APAC 42
15 TPE Taipei China APAC 43
16 DOH Doha Qatar EMEA 45
17 KUL Kuala Lumpur Malaysia APAC 47
18 DXB Dubai UAE EMEA 53
19  NRT Tokyo Japan APAC 56

* Seoul is excluded from this list because Blacklane does not offer chauffeur service there.
** 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 (

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.

Blacklane Press Contact
Adam Parken, Head of Global Communications
Office: +49 30 2016 3016
Mobile: +49 159 0414 6420 and +1 919 277 8551

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