San Francisco-based travel planning firm Wanderlog has found a way to assess in near real-time the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global airports. The company has been monitoring airports over the past two weeks, using Google’s live popularity tracker, to show the massive impact the pandemic has had on airport passenger traffic.
According to Wanderlog, Google reports the “usual” and actual, or “live,” popularity of an individual location. Simple math allows the company to assess whether the venue is overcrowded or under-crowded as compared to the usual foot traffic levels.
“Thanks to Google’s expansive reach, we’re able to get a real-time read on the impact of lockdowns, traveler fear, and the coronavirus more broadly,” the company said on its website.
In the table above, AXN selected the nation’s five largest airports as an example, but Wanderlog is tracking data for roughly 200 airports worldwide. The website, www.wanderlog.com, also offers data on the decline in travel over the past two weeks. Wanderlog acknowledged limitation on the data, including lack of clarity on Google’s methodology, but said the data represents “a complete, accurate, and real-time dataset to show the reach and reactions to the coronavirus.”