Fast Food for a Quick Layover: Upgraded Points Releases Ranking of the Best U.S. Airports for Fast Food Chains

New Study Analyzes Fast Food Availability, Options, and Access Across 60 Major U.S. Airports

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Upgraded Points announced its newest study with a comprehensive ranking of major airports based on airport fast food options, providing valuable insights into where travelers can find a swift meal before takeoff or between flights.

“Quick-service restaurants are a travel essential, offering a sense of familiarity no matter where you go,” said Keri Stooksbury, editor-in-chief at Upgraded Points. “Whether it’s a McDonald’s Big Mac or a Chick-fil-A sandwich, these foods are easy to grab in a pinch.”

Study Methodology

Upgraded Points analyzed the fast food landscape across the 60 busiest airports in the U.S., as defined by total passenger volume. The research involved a detailed review of the availability of the top 20 fast-food chains, recognized for their widespread popularity and number of locations, directly collected from the individual airport websites. To provide context for the findings, data was integrated with annual passenger traffic statistics.

Top 5 U.S. Airports for Fast Food Efficiency: Shortest Lines Revealed

  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG): Coming in at 73% below the airport average (25,563 passengers per chain), CVG has a ratio of 6,900 daily passengers per chain and is the absolute leader in fast food speed and accessibility.
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH): This Houston airport has a daily passenger-per-chain ratio of 7,400, a fast food enthusiast’s paradise.
  • Ontario International Airport (ONT): At ONT, fast food stands up to its name with just 7,800 passengers per chain – 69% below the average.
  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE): A full 69% below the average, CLE travelers are sure to get a bite to eat on the fly.
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD): At 62% below the average, IAD makes food abundant and quick.

Convenient Airport Dining: Chain Locations Just a Short Walk Away

  • Heavy Packer’s Paradise: San Diego International Airport (SAN) boasts the highest density of restaurant chains, with an average of 3.09 chains available per mile.
  • Picky Eaters Rejoice: Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) leads the way with 19 fast-food locations, offering the widest selection of eateries among all airports in the study.

Most Popular Airport Fast Food Chains: America’s Favorites

  • McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A: Among the top 5, chicken and burgers help lead the pack with 35 locations each across the 60 busiest U.S. airports.
  • Subway and Burger King: With 24 locations each, these American sandwich makers provide travelers with ample choices.
  • Most Widespread: Chick-fil-A was present in the largest percentage of airports (42%), followed by Burger King (30%) and Wendy’s (28%). McDonald’s and Subway were close behind at 27%, and Panda Express was present in 1 in 4 airports.

Check out the full restaurant list and complete stats via a state-by-state map and chart, along with other data and helpful graphs by visiting the study online.

About Upgraded Points LLC

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Upgraded Points is a travel company that helps to demystify the complex world of travel and credit cards. Launched in 2016 by Alex Miller, Upgraded Points uses targeted research efforts and in-depth studies to help travelers maximize their travel, points, and experiences. Learn more at:

Media Contact: 
Alex Miller, Founder

SOURCE Upgraded Points