What is the Favorite Airline of Tennessee Residents?

Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Rising passenger trends hit all of the major Tennessee airports in 2023, as the post-pandemic travel boom continued across the nation.

Nashville International Airport, or BNA, set a record with 21.9 million passengers for the 2023 fiscal year, an increase of 18.7% over 2022. Memphis International Airport set a mark at 4.8 million passengers. Smaller airports McGhee Tyson and Tri-Cities also set new standards.

We wanted to know which airlines passengers are searching for the most.

Utilizing Google Trends, BetTennessee.com took a break from Tennessee sports betting and analyzed the most popular airlines of state residents by looking at the search results of each airline over the last 90 days (December to March).

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Favorite Airlines of Tennessee Residents

RankAirlineInterest Over Time
1Delta Air Lines97
2American Airlines86
3Spirit Airlines59
4Southwest Airlines38
5United Airlines23

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Delta Tops the List

Delta Air Lines, which hasn’t considered its Memphis operations a hub in a little over a decade, still has a high volume of passengers at Nashville despite being so close to its Atlanta home. And Delta is No. 1 on the Tennessee list from Google Trends.

According to BNA’s website FlyNashville.com, the state’s No. 1 airport provided an economic impact of $9.9 billion in 2019 based on the most recent data, and it supports more than 76,000 jobs. That 21.9 million passenger number has doubled from 10.6 million in 2013.

All of the other top five favorite airlines provide service from Nashville and the Memphis International Airport, with American Airlines at No. 2, Spirit Airlines at No. 3, Southwest Airlines at No. 4 and United Airlines at No. 5.

McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) in Knoxville includes service from Delta, American and United. Delta and American are the only two among the top 5 that fly into the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA). Meanwhile, passengers can catch flights on Delta, American and United at the Tri-Cities Airport in Blountville, which is in Northeast Tennessee.

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Douglas Pils has been a sports journalist for 30 years in Texas, Arkansas and New York having worked for the San Antonio Express-News, the Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News and Newsday. He currently runs the Student Media Department at Baylor University.