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U.S. Airports With the Friendliest Staff [2024 Data Study]

Alex Miller's image
Alex Miller
Alex Miller's image

Alex Miller

Founder & CEO

295 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 34U.S. States Visited: 29

Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, Alex is a leader in the industry and has earned and redeemed millions of points and miles. He frequently discusses the award travel industry with CNBC, Fox Business...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

35 Published Articles 3236 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Nothing beats a warm welcome or a helpful hand from staff when you’re zigzagging through airport mazes. But bump into a grumpy TSA agent or a less-than-enthusiastic staff member and suddenly your travel vibe gets a dose of unnecessary turbulence. 

In this study, we examined passenger feedback from Yelp and Google reviews about staff behavior, focusing on mentions of friendliness and rudeness at the 50 busiest U.S. airports. Using this review data, we ranked the airports showcasing where travelers can expect the friendliest staff and the most helpful service. 

The 15 U.S. Airports With the Friendliest Staff, According to Yelp and Google Reviews

US Airports With Friendliest Staff
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

After crunching the numbers, we found that just 6% of reviews mention friendly staff and less than 2% mention friendly TSA at the average airport. But, of course, some airports are hotspots for hospitality. 

Leading the rankings as the most friendly airport in the U.S. is Portland International Airport (PDX), with an outstanding friendliness score of 44 out of a possible 50. 19% of reviews of the airport on Yelp mention friendly staff — the highest percentage of any airport we analyzed. This is no small feat considering that more than 2,300 passengers have left their thoughts on their PDX travel experience on Yelp. 

Following closely is Indianapolis International Airport (IND), securing the second spot with a score of 43. Avoiding negative experiences is arguably more important to some travelers than having positive ones, and good news for IND passengers: less than 1% of reviews on Google mention rude TSA staff members. 

Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) ranks third with a friendliness score of 39, further highlighting the importance of exceptional service in the airport industry. At JAX, passengers consistently receive cheerful assistance, ensuring each trip is as pleasant as possible. 

John Wayne Airport (SNA) and Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) secure the fourth and fifth spots in the ranking, respectively. SNA, the gateway to Southern California, is celebrated for its efficient operations and warm hospitality, which are reflective of its sunny locale. Meanwhile, PIT stands out for its fusion of friendly service and modern features, including an efficient X-shaped concourse and the distinction of being the world’s first airport powered entirely by natural resources. 

Rounding out the top 10 are Nashville International Airport (BNA), Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), Dallas Love Field (DAL), and Tampa International Airport (TPA). Nashville brings the warmth of Music City, while Raleigh-Durham excels with efficient, welcoming service. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky combines Southern hospitality with Midwestern efficiency; Dallas Love Field greets travelers with a friendly Texas welcome; and Tampa International reflects Florida’s sunny climate through its service. 

Passenger Picks: Largest U.S. Airports Ranked by Staff Friendliness

Diving into the full data, you’ll find a ranked snapshot of U.S. airports through the lens of staff friendliness based on real traveler feedback from Yelp and Google reviews. This data pinpoints airports where smiles are as frequent as flight announcements and where a kind word from TSA is part of the service.

The specifics show us where warmth wins and where improvements might be due for airport staff. Airports that weave together efficient operations with genuinely friendly interactions set the standard for what traveling should feel like. For travelers planning their next journey or those curious about where their local airports stand, check out our complete insights below. 

Methodology 

To uncover the friendliest airports across the U.S., we started by analyzing the 50 busiest airports, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). From there, we analyzed each airport’s Google and Yelp reviews. We recorded the number of reviews on each platform that mention friendly or rude staff or TSA and compared each of those metrics to the number of overall reviews for that airport.

The individual percentages were given scores from 0 to 5 and summed to reach a total score of 0 to 50, with 50 representing the most ideal conditions.

Final Thoughts

All in all, it’s clear that while the skies might always be open, the warmth of the welcome varies greatly from one airport to the next. And while these might seem like mere numbers, we can all agree that a smile or helpful gesture from airport staff can be the difference between a stressful trip and a smooth travel experience. 

Whether you’re a frequent flyer or an occasional traveler, the friendliness of airport staff significantly influences your travel experience. Here’s to the airports and staff members who go above and beyond, making every departure, layover, and arrival not just a process but a part of our journey to remember.

Alex Miller's image

About Alex Miller

Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, Alex is a leader in the industry and has earned and redeemed millions of points and miles. He frequently discusses the award travel industry with CNBC, Fox Business, The New York Times, and more.

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