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Fast Food Penetration In Airports Varies Wildly, Study Shows

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) and George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) are among the airports with the easiest access to fast food, according to a new study by Upgraded Points. Conversely, fast food is relatively hard to find at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

Upgraded Points analyzed the dining options of the 60 busiest U.S. airports, in terms of total passengers. Then, they counted how many of the 20 most popular fast-food chains – based on the number of locations – were in each airport.

The study examined the total number of fast-food restaurants in each airport against their passenger numbers. CVG had ratio of 6,900 daily passengers for every fast food chain, coming in at 73% below the airport average. That means more fast food access for travelers. IAH a daily passenger per fast food chain ratio of 7,400, 71% below the average. Other airports with a relatively high concentration of fast food options include Ontario International Airport (ONT) at 7,800 daily passengers per fast food chain, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) with 7,900 daily passengers per fast food chain and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) at 9,700 daily passengers per fast food chain.

McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A are the most common fast food options at U.S. airports, according to the Upgraded Points study, each with 35 locations. Subway and Burger King each have 24 locations, Panda Express has 22 locations and Wendy’s came in at 20 locations. Pizza Hut made the list with 10 U.S. airport locations, Popeyes with seven, Panera with six and Whataburger with six.