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Twitter Data Reveals Which of the Nation’s Airports Bear the Brunt of Passengers’ Anger

Forbes Advisor has analyzed Twitter data to find the airports that provoke the most ire from their passengers. Orange County’s John Wayne Airport tops the list, with facilities in Jacksonville and Omaha trailing just behind.
Anger and frustration may not always be welcome emotions, but – as every passenger knows – they are sometimes a very real part of the airport experience.


With this in mind, Forbes Advisor has undertaken a large-scale analysis of Twitter data to isolate the facilities that invoked the most ire among passengers. By analyzing the over 37,000 tweets that were directed to America’s busiest airports between March 2022 and March 2023, it found that California’s Orange County John Wayne Airport (SNA) provoked the most anger from passengers.


The Metrics of Frustration: Flyers at Orange County, Omaha, and Jacksonville are the Angriest

The outlet deployed a machine learning tool during the study to assess the sentiment behind each individual tweet. In the case of SNA, it found that 65% of these could be reasonably classed as “angry”. According to Forbes Advisor, “The words that popped up most in tweets from disgruntled John Wayne Airport travelers were “noise,” “staff, “TSA,” “complaints” and “delayed.”.” Interestingly, the outlet points out that passengers at the nearby airports of Los Angeles International (LAX) and Hollywood Burbank (BUR) did not experience the same level of frustration.


The results of Forbes Advisor’s wider study also revealed that 52% of tweets from travelers who took the time to @-mention a specific airport were angry. In terms of the language used, the most commonly found words in these individual angry posts were “delays”, “security” and “hours”. But SNA wasn’t the only facility to evoke feelings of anger and frustration among passengers; indeed – by the metrics of this study – 60% of the tweets directed at Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) and 59% of those directed at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield (OMA) were angry.


Undeserved Anger at SNA?

Despite the negative cast of the data gleaned from Twitter, the outlet clarifies that SNA received high marks from recent passengers, who have approved of its performance. In fact, just under three-quarters surveyed by SNA directly scored the facility with a five out of five. Likewise, SNA comes highly commended by both The Wall Street Journal and J.D. Power’s North America Airport Satisfaction Study for 2022.


But when it comes to justifying the angry tweets received by SNA, Jeremy Hyatt, who frequently transits through the facility, offered his own views on the outlet’s results. “Traveling to SNA for vacation or spring break can be challenging for many visitors due to long rental car and TSA lines, unexpected California taxes and fees, limited take-off and landing times, and extended luggage wait times. These frustrating experiences can make a trip less enjoyable,” he explained, adding that he liked SNA due to its small size and easy-to-navigate layout.


At the opposite end of the spectrum, Indianapolis International Airport (IND), Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Kansas City International Airport (MCI) were the facilities least likely to be in receipt of angry tweets from passengers.


The full results and methodology of the survey by Forbes Advisor are available to view here.


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luxefarer October 1, 2023

Surprised JFK isn't on the list...

deco105 May 24, 2023

How come Orlando MCO hasn't made the top of the list? That's one miserable TSA experience and now the trains to the gates only take half of the people they could transfer.

twowheela May 23, 2023

They must be talking about the new MCI because the old one was one notch up from a dump.  A small notch at that.

mogi67 May 23, 2023

I don't think twitter users are an accurate represenation of the general population

AsiaTravel2019 May 20, 2023

Apparently Forbes' "Machine learning tool" hasn't been to Terminal 5 at O'Hare lately.