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19th Mar 2020

Travelling under lockdown: Busiest airports in the world go silent

Josh Kaplan

Heathrow airport has never been so quiet

On a normal day, around 2,500 flights pass through O’Hare airport in Chicago. 213,000 passengers pass through Heathrow on a normal day. But these are not normal days.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, planes have been grounded, travel limited, businesses shut and offices closed. Some flights are still running, but with everyone advised to avoid non-essential travel, it is mainly a matter of getting people home so they can self isolate.

Friend of JOE, Josh Kaplan, found himself returning from a St. Patrick’s Day trip to Chicago early, and had the unique experience of travelling through eerily quiet airports.

No queues to get through security, static planes parked up for the foreseeable future and empty baggage halls are unheard of, even during the most anti-social of hours. These airports simply do not sleep, until now.