Ever wonder what makes the happiest flyers? After examining more than 575,000 flight ratings from 2016 and 2017, we found that where travelers are from, which airports they visit, and their generation, had an impact on how happy they were with their flights.
Here’s what we found:
Travelers with Regular Access to Vitamin D Have the Best Flights
Travelers living in Honolulu topped the charts as the happiest flyers in the nation, followed by Phoenix, another sun-filled city. However, those from southern cities like Nashville, Tampa, Baltimore, Orlando, Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale also held strong, capturing several of the top 25 slots.
|4||Saint Louis, MO|
|7||Kansas City, MO|
|14||Fort Lauderdale, FL|
|17||San Antonio, TX|
|20||Las Vegas, NV|
|21||San Diego, CA|
Don’t Go Big to Go Home: Alternate Airports Put Travelers in a Better Mood
The majority of travelers that arrived and departed from airports that are not the city’s largest airport hub tended to rate their flights higher. Travelers arriving at the Windy City’s Midway International Airport and departing from the Lone Star State’s Dallas Love Field Airport reported being the happiest flyers overall. In addition, seven of these alternate options appear on both the departure and arrival lists, showing that they have a consistently positive impact on the mood of travelers.
|Departure Airport||Arrival Airport|
|1||MDW||Chicago, IL||1||DAL||Dallas, TX|
|2||DAL||Dallas, TX||2||MDW||Chicago, IL|
|3||BUR||Burbank, CA||3||HOU||Houston, TX|
|4||HOU||Houston, TX||4||BUR||Burbank, CA|
|5||OAK||Oakland, CA||5||OAK||Oakland, CA|
|6||SAT||San Antonio, TX||6||BWI||Baltimore, MD|
|7||SNA||Santa Ana, CA||7||BNA||Nashville, TN|
|8||STL||St. Louis, MO||8||MCI||Kansas City, MO|
|9||BNA||Nashville, TN||9||ONT||Ontario, CA|
|10||SJC||San Jose, CA||10||SNA||Santa Ana, CA|
|11||MCI||Kansas City, MO||11||STL||St. Louis, MO|
|12||SMF||Sacramento, CA||12||SJC||San Jose, CA|
|13||BWI||Baltimore, MD||13||OGG||Kahului, HI|
|14||PDX||Portland, OR||14||TPA||Tampa, FL|
|15||TPA||Tampa, FL||15||PDX||Portland, OR|
|16||SAN||San Diego, CA||16||SMF||Sacramento, CA|
|17||MKE||Milwaukee, WI||17||MSY||New Orleans, LA|
|18||JAX||Jacksonville, FL||18||ABQ||Albuquerque, NM|
|19||AUS||Austin, TX||19||PHX||Phoenix, AZ|
|20||RSW||Fort Myers, FL||20||SLC||Salt Lake City, UT|
|21||MSY||New Orleans, LA||21||SEA||Seattle, WA|
|22||SEA||Seattle, WA||22||SAN||San Diego, CA|
|23||PHX||Phoenix, AZ||23||SAT||San Antonio, TX|
|24||CMH||Columbus, OH||24||AUS||Austin, TX|
|25||IND||Indianapolis, IN||25||RSW||Fort Myers, FL|
Millennials are Happier Flyers than Xennials
Looking at the average flight rating across generations, we found that Millennials (1983-1999) were the happiest flyers, followed by Baby Boomers (1946-1964). Xennials, the microgeneration between Generation X and Millennials, ranked as the third happiest generation of travelers, showing a distinct difference from Millennials (the generation that Xennials were previously associated with). The least happy flyers were those in Generation X (1965-1976).
Methodology: To determine the happiest travelers, TripIt looked at how travelers rated their flights. TripIt analyzed more than 575,000 flight ratings submitted in 2016 and 2017. Hometowns and airports with less than 1,000 ratings were omitted from the analysis. Regions were defined by those recognized by the U.S. Census. TripIt defined generations as follows: Millennials (1983-1999); Xennials (1977-1983); Generation X (1965-1976); and Baby Boomers (1946-1964).