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These 6 Airports Have The Worst Passenger Experience In The U.S.

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Which airports in the United States have the worst passenger experience?

A new study from Forbes reveals the “angriest” airports in the U.S. with the most disgruntled passengers, based on Twitter sentiment.

Worst Airports

While some measurements of the “worst” airports may include data like flight delays and cancellations, the Forbes study takes into account negative Tweets. Using machine learning, more than 37,000 Tweets about the 60 busiest airports in the U.S. were analyzed for sentiment.

Negative sentiment includes Tweets complaining about lines, TSA security, rude staff, lost luggage, delayed and canceled flights, traffic, a bad parking situation, and more.

Is this an exact science? No. It’s more likely that passengers with a notably bad experience will air their frustrations on Twitter, while a satisfied traveler without any issues won’t say anything at all. But it’s still an interesting metric to examine which U.S. airports are the most headache-inducing.

The airports below have the most negative sentiments from passengers, who frequently complained on Twitter about their poor experiences:

Woman waiting at airport for delayed flight

1. John Wayne Airport (Orange County, CA)

A whopping 65% of Tweets about John Wayne Airport were negative, with the top-mentioned complaints including “noise,” “staff,” and “TSA.”

This airport is the one located closest to Disneyland. However, it’s apparent that vacationers to the Happiest Place on Earth may not be so happy after all based on their negative experience at this Southern California airport.

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John Wayne Airport

2. Jacksonville International Airport (Jacksonville, FL)

Another airport with the worst passenger experience based on Twitter sentiment is Jacksonville International Airport.

With 60% negative Tweets, passengers aren’t quite as angry about this airport, but it’s still far from a perfect experience. Some of the biggest complaints mentioned over and over include “line,” “TSA,” “delays,” and “employees.”

Jacksonville Florida

3. Eppley Airfield (Omaha, NE)

Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska is a major airport in the Midwest.

But the stereotype of the overly polite Midwesterners doesn’t extend to this airport, with 59% of Tweets about Eppley Airfield having an angry sentiment.

This unpopular airport received the most mentions around issues like “delays,” “weather,” and “cold.” Unlike other airports on this list, it sounds like frequent weather delays are the biggest complaints that passengers have about their experience at this airport.

Omaha NE

4. Tampa International Airport (Tampa, FL)

Things aren’t always sunny in the Sunshine State. Another Florida airport to make this list of the airports with the worst passenger experience is Tampa International Airport.

Angry passengers at this airport make up 57% of Tweets, with the biggest recurring complaints revolving around “bags,” “delayed,” “luggage,” “security,” and “canceled.”

Tampa skyline on river

5. San Antonio International Airport (San Antonio, TX)

Another airport with the angriest passengers is San Antonio International Airport. Passengers at this Texas airport weren’t pleased for a number of reasons.

Complaints about this airport, which received 57% negative Tweets, include issues like “TSA,” “weapon,” “officers,” and “firearm.”

san antonio

6. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Atlanta, GA)

Finally, the busiest airport in the entire world makes an appearance on this list. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport sees more than 93.7 million passengers per year, but not all of them are happy with their experience.

With 56% of Tweets about this airport having a negative sentiment, the biggest passenger complaints were “delays,” “traffic,” “line,” “security,” and “parking.”

atlanta airport sign

Which Airports Have The Least Negative Tweets?

The airports above are considered to be the worst in the United States based on Twitter sentiment, but which airports are the best?

The top three airports with the least amount of negative mentions are:

  • Indianapolis International Airport (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Seattle, WA)
  • Kansas City International Airport (Kansas City, MO)

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Friday 19th of May 2023

The people who gave SEATAC a positive rating have obviously never been thru there. I've been thru a LOT of airports - US and foreign- and SEATAC is by far the worst.