Austin airport has been one of the fastest growing in the United States for several years. This past year they inaugurated 9 new gates. There’s now transatlantic scheduled service to London (Heathrow and Gatwick), Paris, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt. There’s not yet non-stop Asia service, but the airport is willing to subsidize it and there’s been talk about Korean Air serving Seoul as part of their joint venture with Delta.
Here are 7 surprising facts about my home airport.
- Austin served 17.3 million passengers last year which is on par with Dallas Love Field and Nashville and ahead of St. Louis.
- Airport restaurants served 1.6 million breakfast tacos and 71,798 pounds of brisket.
- Southwest is the largest carrier by a wide margin with 5.8 million passengers, followed by American at 3.09 million and United with 2.48 million. Delta is closing the gap viewing the airport as a focus city, and their new club lounge is far nicer than American’s and United’s.
- There’s an outdoor deck anyone can use. Salt Lick serves beer to go, pick up a Flyrite chicken sandwich and sit upstairs on an outdoor picnic bench overlooking airport operations. Follow the signs to the Delta Sky Club.
- Over half of all commercial aircraft serving Austin are 737s 51.4% in 2019 to be exact. Southwest flies only 737s in their fleet and American retired the MD80.
- Passengers bought 3017 bottles of Tito’s vodka they aren’t just buying cocktails by the glass.
- There were 1327 live music performances in 2019 That’s up from 995 in 2018. I’ve landed at Houston Hobby to live music but the Austin airport’s stage is unique. Austin of course bills itself as ‘the live music capital of the world’.
The airport is finalizing a deal for an Escape lounge which could be co-branded with American Express.
But the best thing about the airport is that you pull right up to the terminal, there’s security right inside the doors and gates just past security. Eventually airport growth will eliminate this convenience as they face a need for a bigger check-in hall and more gates. But for now it’s a big heavily trafficked airport with a small airport feel.