What Are The Favorite Airlines Of Missouri Residents?

Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Missouri might be considered a flyover state to some, but the data shows millions of people fly into and out of the Show-Me State every year.

Thanks to the major metropolitan areas on both ends of the state, Missouri is home to two international airports that rank among the top 50 in the U.S. for commercial air passenger traffic, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. More than 14 million people made their way through St. Louis Lambert International Airport from December 2022 to last November. Kansas City International had  more than 11 million passengers embark or deplane over that same time frame. Missouri also has regional airports in Columbia, Joplin, and Springfield that provide service to key hubs across the Midwest and South each year for thousands of passengers.

BetMissouri.com is your best source for Missouri sports betting coverage, but we follow lifestyle issues, too. So, with so many people packing and unpacking their bags, we wanted to know what airline residents preferred. To do that, our team relied on Google Trends to analyze online search traffic for airlines during a three-month span from Dec. 2, 2023, to March 1, 2024. The scores below are measured by search interest compared to other topics.

Most Searched Airlines of Missouri Residents

Rank Airline Interest Over Time
1 American Airlines 83
2 Delta Air Lines 81
3 Southwest Airlines 53
4 Spirit Airlines 41
5 United Airlines 26

American Tops List; Southwest Dominates Gates

American Airlines generated the most traffic on Google with a score of 83 compared to searches for other topics. But Southwest Airlines dominates the gates in both Kansas City and St. Louis. Southwest planes carried more than 14 million passengers to and from both airports. The Dallas-based low-fare carrier accounted for 63% of the market share in St. Louis and nearly 48% in Kansas City.

American, which offers service in four airports, came in second. More than 3 million people flew to and from St. Louis, where it represented 11% of the market, and Kansas City, where it was 13%. In addition, American regional carrier subsidiary Envoy Air served more than 560,000 passengers in Springfield and Columbia.

Delta Airlines, the nation’s oldest, accommodated 3.1 million passengers through Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield. No-frills carrier Spirit Airlines, which has service in Kansas City, where its 374,000 customers account for nearly 3.5% of the airport’s traffic.

Show Me Where You’re Going

Where are Missouri residents flying to and from? In both Kansas City and St. Louis, the top two destinations are Denver and Atlanta. Orlando, New York LaGuardia and Las Vegas were the next three most popular places that St. Louis passengers are heading; in Kansas City they’re off to Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix and Chicago O’Hare.

Want to know more about the latest statewide gaming news, including developments on the effort to legalize Missouri sports betting apps in the state? BetMissouri.com is your destination for up-to-date news.


Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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