HappyOrNot, the Finnish company that created the “Smiley” feedback system, has released its first “Airport Report,” a study on customer satisfaction based on data collected by HappyOrNot smiley terminals in 160 airports across 36 countries. The report uses this customer feedback to determine which airports are the happiest, how some parts of the air travel experience are happier than others, and which dates and times are best for travel.
According to HappyOrNot’s Airport Report, the world’s eight happiest airports are, in order: Exeter Airport (U.K.), Cork Airport (Republic of Ireland), Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (Italy), Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (U.S.), Newcastle International Airport (U.K.), London Southend Airport (U.K.), Cardiff Airport (U.K.), and Keflavik International Airport (Iceland).
This ranking is based on feedback collected between November 2016 and November 2017. To be included in the report, airports must have received more than 120,000 feedback responses in that time period between two or more points of experience.
The time of day with the highest average happiness rating, 85.7 percent, is 9 a.m., while 2 a.m. scores the lowest happiness rating, at 71.3 percent. As for days of the week, Tuesdays score the highest, with average happiness ratings of 83.4 percent, but Sundays score lowest across reporting airports, with 80.0 percent happiness.
October and November are tied for the happiest months, scoring on average 83.5 percent each, whereas July ranks the lowest, with average happiness dipping to 80.9 percent.
Of the five major parts of the airport where HappyOrNot set up its feedback stations — check-in, security, washrooms, arrivals, and baggage reclaim — security scored the highest, with an average happiness rating of 84.6 percent. Baggage claim scored the lowest at 69.9 percent.
“While the stressful airport is sometimes employed as a Hollywood trope, this report demonstrates the happiness of the majority of people taking to the skies,” says Ville Levaniemi, HappyOrNot’s founder and executive vice president. “Our analysis presents a unique opportunity to celebrate those places that make the air travel experience pleasurable, based on an enormous amount of data rather than just anecdotal evidence.”