Home Airports The 10 Angriest Airports In The U.S., According to Forbes

The 10 Angriest Airports In The U.S., According to Forbes

by SharonKurheg

Most people don’t like being in airports. Sure, there’s a bit of excitement if you’re going somewhere cool. But the bad really outweighs the good, with long waits at check-in and baggage drop, then another long wait at the TSA security checkpoint. Dining and shopping options are generally much more expensive than if you bought the stuff on the outside. You get to the gate and it’s overcrowded, without enough places to sit. And then when it’s time to load the plane, the gate lice starts swarming.

Yeah, airports aren’t fun.

Some airports seem to have more difficulties than others, because of reasons. Maybe they’re outdated. Maybe they don’t have a decent variety of (overpriced) dining and shopping. Maybe they tend to have more delayed flights because of weather issues (I’m looking at you, places with lots of snow or daily summer monsoons). So you’re going to wind up seeing more crabby people there.

Forbes noticed that people would vent on Twitter about their frustrations with the airports they were in. So they decided to see which airports were, well, the angriest. Here’s how they said they did it:

Forbes Advisor analyzed more than 37,000 tweets directed at the 60 busiest airports in the U.S. from March 2022 to March 2023. We then used a machine learning tool to analyze the sentiment of each tweet and determine where travelers are most annoyed.

Here are the key findings of what they discovered:

  • A full 52% (more than half!) of tweets from travelers who @-mentioned an airport were angry
  • The three most commonly used words in these angry airport tweets are “delays,” “security” and “hours”
  • The world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, is the sixth most anger-inducing big airport in the country (so business or size doesn’t necessarily equate anger level)

And what was the angriest airport out there? John Wayne Airport (SNA), in Orange County, CA. 65% of passengers’ tweets about SNA were angry tweets, and the top angry words about it were noise, staff, TSA, complaints and delayed.

Here are the Top 10 angriest airports:

1. John Wayne Airport (SNA), Orange City, CA
65% of tweets were angry. Angry words seen most often: Noise, Staff, TSA, Complaints, Delayed

2. Jacksonville Int’l Airport (JAX), Jacksonville, FL
60% angry tweets. Words: Line, TSA, Garage, Delays, Employees

3. Eppley Airfield (OMA), Omaha, NE
59% angry tweets. Words: Delays, Weather, Cold, Police, Issues

4. Tampa Int’l Airport (TPA), Tampa, FL
57% angry tweets. Words: Bags, Delayed, Luggage, Security, Canceled

5. San Antonio Int’l Airport (SAT), San Antonio, TX
57% angry tweets. Words: TSA, Weapon, Officers, Firearm, Broken

6. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int’l Airport (ATL), Atlanta, GA
56% angry tweets. Words: Delays, Traffic, Line, Security, Parking

7. San Diego Int’l Airport (SAN), San Diego, CA
56% angry tweets. Words: Waiting, Security, Line, Rental, Canceled

8. Nashville Int’l Airport (BNA), Nashville, TN
56% angry tweets. Words: Traffic, Police, Waiting, Passengers, Security

9. Phoenix Sky Harbor Int’l Airport (PHX), Phoenix, AZ
56% angry tweets. Words: Rental, Line, Waiting, Bags, Delayed

10. Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (SJC), San Jose, CA
56% angry tweets. Words: Help, Security, International, Waiting, Parking

By the way, the LEAST angry airport was Indianapolis Int’l Airport (IND), in, of course, Indianapolis, IN. Their angry tweets were only 42% (angry words were Canceled, Delays, Crash, Delayed, Waiting)

Here’s their complete methodology for their results:

In March 2023, we analyzed more than 37,000 tweets directed at the 60 busiest airports in the United States over the preceding 12 months. We established the list of airports based on total passenger boardings in 2021, as reported by the FAA. A given tweet was designated as being directed at one of the airports if the tweet cited the official Twitter handle of that airport in its message, informally known as “@ mentioning” or “@-ing” an entity.

Once we amassed our raw set of tweets, we processed them with a Python-based machine learning tool that measures the sentiment of language in each tweet. Each tweet was scored on characteristics of “sadness,” “joy,” “love,” “anger,” “fear,” and “surprise.” Then each tweet was tagged with the emotion it scored highest for. In this case, we focused our analysis exclusively on tweets tagged as “anger.” To establish airports with the angriest travelers we calculated the total number of angry tweets as a proportion of all tweets directed at that airport.

It’s important to note that on Twitter, there is a considerable ecosystem of non-traveler entities tweeting at airports on a regular basis, ranging from local TSA accounts to news media to aviation industry analysts. To focus our analysis on tweets from average travelers, and to filter out recurring @ mentions from non-travelers, we only analyzed tweets from Twitter handles that @ mentioned an airport four times or less in the past year.

Of the 60 busiest airports, seven were excluded from our analysis for either not having an official Twitter handle (OGG, SJU, HNL) or not being tweeted at more than 50 times over the past year (ANC, PBI, MSY, SMF).

You can read the full list of angry airports on this page of Forbes’ May 19th article.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


RKD May 22, 2023 - 11:26 pm

I can relate to #1 SNA @ #10 SJC on the list. These two airports never gave me good vibes when traveling during 2010s. Switched to LAX and SFO, even though I had to deal with extra traffic

Tony N May 25, 2023 - 3:19 pm

I don’t tweet anyway.


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