Why Austin Sees More Diverted Flights Than Any Other Airport In The Country

This stat may surprise you: Austin’s airport sees more diverted flights than any other airport in the country.

In 2019 there were 574 diversions to Austin. From May through August the airport saw an average of about 50 diversions per month over the past 15 years. Summer thunderstorms are a driver. There are (4) reasons more flights divert to Austin than any other airport.

  1. Austin is within about 40 minutes’ flying time from Dallas – Fort Worth; Dallas Love Field; Houston Intercontinental; and Houston Hobby (and even closer to other, smaller, airports like San Antonio).

  2. The airport used to be Bergstrom Air Force Base, closed as part of the BRAC process in 1993. So it is a large facility. It has a 12,250 foot runway (18R/36L) and a 9000 foot runway (18L/36R). There’s space to accommodate a large number of aircraft.

  3. It’s served by all of the major carriers, so it’s a logical diversion point for American; Delta; Southwest; United; Alaska; JetBlue; Spirit; Frontier; Hawaiian; and Allegiant.

  4. Austin has a customs facility, making it functional as a diversion point for international flights from United and American hubs in Dallas and Houston as well as for Air Canada, Aeromexico, British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, WestJet (seasonal) and Virgin Atlantic which serve the airport.

Though Qantas doesn’t serve Austin (!) we received a Qantas diversion from DFW earlier this month.

When Austin’s airport was an Air Force base it was visited by a Concorde (1979) and by modified Boeing 747s carrying the Space Shuttle Columbia (1981) and Discovery (1985). Nonetheless there’s work to do to get passengers off of planes. There’s room to park, but that doesn’t get them inside the terminal expeditiusly.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Austin sucks dude. I can’t believe you live there. You of all people, should know the U.S. has just a few metro areas worth living in.


    Everywhere else is a back a$$wards s**thole.

  2. There are more diversions because on some days they have a shortage of transgender, pansexual, black and homeless air traffic controllers.

  3. CHRIS with that top-notch Alabama education misread the article…
    Austin receives the most diversions not causes them.

  4. @Pete
    I should have added: “At other Texas airports”. You’re right, it leaves my comment a bit ambiguous.
    Stay woke!

  5. Dems are the party of the richest and most educated people as well as the poorest and least educated. somehow they conned (bought off theough government subsistence) the poorest and least educated people to vote for them. This is pure fact. It is very strange how anyone continues to vote democrat. Republican not much better but at least the rich ones dont fake like they care for poor people like dems do.

  6. Wealthy people don’t care about politics. No policy change really matters to us. Wealthy people do care about their image. As you no doubt have heard for the last 20 years or more, liberal democrats have been winning the culture war, ergo, it is unfashionable for a person to be republican. That is why the wealthy vote democrat.

    Nobody cares about the poor. If anybody did, they wouldn’t be poor. Think about yourself as a middle class person. What would happen if you lost your job either due to a layoff, or some medical disability, whatever reason you stopped taking in an income? You have a social safety net of friends whose couches you can sleep on, showers you can use to clean up, while you work to get back on your feet. Poor people are poor because nobody likes them enough to provide such social security (in the lowercase informal sense, not the government program).

    If you’re an immigrant it’s a different story as you haven’t had the chance to build up friends in this country plus you face a language barrier if not more barriers like cultural differences, racism and xenophobia. But I’ve explained for a large swath of poor people why they don’t have anyone to support them out of sympathy.

    Rog by the way I am an executive at a bicoastal company and I split time between homes in SF and NYC. I have lived and worked all over the country and confidently can speak to the top tier nature of NYC, SF, LA and Seattle. Other cities are just not where people desire to live due to a lack of resources of all sorts.

  7. @ Actual Statistician. Many of us have also either lived and worked, visited or both in the cities of which you fawn over. The “top tier nature” of those cities you mention are seldom available to the average city dweller and offer little for the quality of life for lower and middle class residents. Often “The top tier nature” owns homes in suburbs and country settings to retreat too. OPINION: But PLEASE . . . you won’t like Austin so please do not come here and bring your politics with you. “Liberal individualism has an innate tendency toward authoritarianism administrative states.” When it comes to a big city, the most deplorable ones, including Austin, are Liberal Democrat controlled using OPM and do what FEELS good at the moment rather than what is long term fiscally responsible for the majority of the taxpayers.

  8. Gary – please be more careful about negative connotations in your click bait headlines. (Gosh look at the feathers ruffled of the very first commenter who read the opposite of the article’s meaning by that headline – and who clearly didn’t go on to even read the first paragraph of the article. (Which I guess is what you wanted? What’s your own beef eith AUS?)

    It’s not easy suddenly coordinating to receive diverted flights at ANY airport – so the one that receives/accommodates/welcomes more than any other city should be lauded for their abilities, not be the butt of your ambiguous click bait headline.

    Shame on you.

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