A ticket to ride: Evolving landscapes of air travel accessibility in the United States

Tony Grubesic, Matthew Zook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


During the past decade, air passenger service in the United States has been exposed to numerous carrier bankruptcies, antitrust investigations, mergers, labor problems and a massive increase in competition. These internal elements, combined with the rising costs of fuel and the threat of terrorism combine to make a relatively uncertain air travel landscape for both passengers and operators. Moreover, these dynamics have generated significant geographical shifts in airline route structures and airports serviced by commercial carriers. These factors, combined with increasing levels of consumer access to fare and routing information, have altered the landscape of air travel accessibility in the United States. The purpose of this paper is to examine issues of consumer air travel accessibility through an analysis of three critical measures: flight segments, flight time and ticket costs. In addition, a typology of air passenger accessibility is generated for the 156 busiest commercial airports in the United States using these three measures. Results suggest significant local and regional biases in time and cost, relative to distance, for many US markets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-430
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Accessibility
  • Airports
  • Data mining
  • GIS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • General Environmental Science


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