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Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse seem like a happy couple to the world, don’t they? We don’t know what Mickey and Minnie are thinking, but many travelers seem unhappy with the Southern California airport closest to their Los Angeles-area workplace, Disneyland.
John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California has more angry travelers than any other US airport, according to Twitter activity. To reach this conclusion, Forbes Advisor analyzed more than 37,000 of his tweets directed at the 60 busiest airports in the US from March 2022 to March 2023. We then used machine learning tools to analyze the sentiment of each tweet to identify where travelers were most frustrated. .
Analysis revealed that nearly two-thirds (65%) of tweets directed at John Wayne Airport were characterized as “angry.” “Noise,” “staff,” “TSA,” “complaint,” and “delay” were the words most frequently mentioned in tweets by disgruntled John Wayne airport travelers.
By comparison, travelers resented the low proportion of tweets targeting two nearby airports: Los Angeles International Airport (55%) and Hollywood Burbank Airport (54%).
Elsewhere, the Indianapolis International Airport won the award for being the least hacked air traveler on Twitter, one of the most frustrated places on the internet.
- More than half (52%) of tweets from travelers @mentioning airports were angry
- The three most common words in angry tweets about airports are ‘delays’, ‘security’ and ‘time’.
- John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California has more angry travelers than any other major airport
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest airport, is the nation’s sixth-largest anger-inducing airport.
- Customers at airports serving Indianapolis, Seattle Tacoma and Kansas City are least angry, according to Twitter activity
Do angry tweets really reflect the experience at John Wayne Airport?
John Wayne Airport’s own passenger survey results show strong approval across the airport. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of passengers surveyed in 2022 gave the airport an overall score of 5 out of 5 for him.
In a news release announcing the findings, Charlene Reynolds, director of John Wayne Airport, said the findings help the airport “provide safe, convenient air travel and a superior guest experience that travelers can trust. Efforts to do so,” he said. The airport handles more than 11 million passengers annually.
Independent surveys also give the airport high marks. In 2022, The Wall Street Journal ranked John Wayne Airport as his 9th best mid-sized airport in the country. The airport ranked even better (#2) in the large airport category in JD Power’s 2022 North American Airport Satisfaction Survey.
Digging deeper, John Wayne Airport is neither bright nor dark in the two areas that infuriate many travelers: on-time arrivals and departures, and waiting times at security checkpoints. .
The airport ranks 10th in the WSJ reliability category for arrivals and departures. However, waiting times at TSA and immigration at 39 U.S. airports don’t fare so well, ranking 29th in the longest 2022 ranking by luggage storage service Bounce.
Airport officials were unable to comment on the Forbes Advisors’ findings.
What is your explanation for frustration?
Jeremy Hyatt, president of Green Flash Media, a public relations firm in Southern California, frequents John Wayne Airport, which has the airport code SNA. He offers a potential explanation for at least some of SNA’s outrageous tweets.
“For many travelers, traveling to SNA for vacation or spring break means long car rental and TSA lines, unforeseen California taxes and fees, limited take-off and landing times, and luggage wait times. It can be difficult because it’s long,” said a Hyatt resident. Located in Dana Point, approximately 40 miles southeast of the airport. “These frustrating experiences can make travel less enjoyable.”
Despite this, Hyatt describes SNA as a “great” airport for business and leisure travelers. why? Because the airport is small and easy to navigate, has easy gate access and top-notch valet service, he says.
indie and easy
Perhaps people flying through Indianapolis International Airport are less prone to angry tweets, especially since it’s easier to get around compared to big city airports.
Nicky Fraser, a retail and digital strategist at professional services firm PwC, flies in and out of Indy Airport every week. She appreciates it being “small and efficient.” Fraser lives about 55 miles northeast of the airport in Westfield, an Indianapolis suburb.
Mr. Fraser isn’t the only traveler who appreciates Indy Airport. In JD Power’s 2022 North American Airport Satisfaction Survey, the airport ranked first in customer satisfaction among mid-sized airports in North America.
“We strive to make Indy Airport the epitome of Hoosier hospitality, which has a profound impact on the overall traveler experience in our community,” said Mario Rodriguez, executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority. said in the latest Airport Authority news release. Praised by JD Power.
In contrast to the J.D. Power survey, The Wall Street Journal ranked Indy Airport 18th out of 30 medium-sized US airports. In the WSJ’s reliability category, which includes arrivals and departures, the airport ranked 20th. It was not included in the bounce survey for TSA and passport control wait times.
Airport officials could not be reached for comment.
While Mr. Fraser praises Indy Airport, he also suggests some improvements. She wishes there were more sit-down restaurants so she could do more during flight delays.
“(TSA) PreCheck is starting to back up from time to time, so I hope they add CLEAR (Plus) as well,” Fraser said.
Some of the other airports with the most complaints from Twitter users also received high marks from JD Power.
About 60% of tweets directed at Jacksonville International Airport were considered angry, with the most popular complaints focused on queues, delays and TSA. The airport ranked him third among medium-sized airports in customer satisfaction. Tampa International Airport was ranked #1 for passenger satisfaction by JD Power, with 57% of tweets directed at Tampa International Airport being negative.
In March 2023, we analyzed over 37,000 tweets directed at the 60 busiest US airports over the past 12 months. The FAA reported that it based its list of airports on 2021 total passenger boarding numbers. A particular Tweet is designated as directed to an airport if the tweet references that airport’s official Twitter handle in the message. This is informally known as “@ mentioning” or “@-ing” the entity.
Once we collected a set of raw tweets, we processed them with a Python-based machine learning tool that measures the linguistic sentiment of each tweet. Each tweet was scored based on the characteristics of “sadness”, “joy”, “love”, “anger”, “fear” and “surprise”. Each tweet was then tagged with the highest scoring sentiment. In this case, we focused our analysis only on tweets tagged with ‘anger’. To identify the airport with the most angry travelers, we calculated the ratio of total angry tweets to all tweets directed at that airport.
It’s important to note that Twitter has a sizable ecosystem of non-travel groups regularly tweeting at airports, from local TSA accounts to news outlets to airline industry analysts. To filter out repeated @mentions from non-travelers, we focused our analysis on tweets from the average traveler who @mentioned the airport less than four times in the past year. Only tweets from handles were analyzed.
Of the 60 busiest airports, either without an official Twitter handle (OGG, SJU, HNL) or not tweeted more than 50 times in the past year (ANC, PBI, MSY, SMF) , 7 airports were excluded from the analysis.