Southwest, American most popular domestic airlines


A pair of Dallas-based airlines are the most popular U.S. carriers, according to new statistics.

Southwest Airlines boarded more total passengers than any of its rivals, while American Airlines boarded the highest number of international passengers, the Department of Transportation has revealed.

The DOT’s Bureau of Transportation says Southwest carried 101.3 million travelers in 2009, to lead the airline pack. American was second at 85.7 million, followed by Delta at 67.7 million passengers.

For international travelers, American was No. 1 in 2009 at 19.6 million, followed by Delta at 12.1 million and Continental at 12 million.

DFW International Airport was the fourth-busiest airport in the USA in 2009, serving 26.58 million people. Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport retained the top spot, followed by Chicago O’Hare and LAX.