For the second consecutive year, Honolulu topped the charts as the hometown of the happiest flyers in the nation.

This is merely one of the revelations in a just-released report from TripIt, which for the second year in a row ranks the hometowns with the happiest travelers the nation, the top-rated airports for departures and arrivals (based once again on that all-important happiness factor), the top airports for international travel, and the happiest generation of travelers.

That’s a lot of travel-related happiness to digest.

The findings are based on a deep dive into TripIt users’ flight ratings. Researchers for the travel organization app looked at nearly one million such ratings to develop this year’s report.

TripIt found that where travelers live, which airports they visit, their generation, and the time of year they traveled all had an impact on how happy they were with their flight experience.

For instance, the majority of travelers that either departed from or arrived at airports that were not the main hub in that city tended to rate their flights higher.

“In my experience, smaller airports can be easier to navigate, less crowded, and be more efficient from parking and security to customs and baggage claim,” said travel expert Lee Abbamonte.

Yet despite this penchant for out of the way airports, it was the bustling hub of Dallas that took the number one spot for happiest travelers by departures and happiest travelers by arrivals.

Houston meanwhile, took the number two spot for departures and Chicago’s Midway ranked number two for arrivals. Rounding out the top five happiest airports for departures were Oakland, California; Midway; and Burbank, California.

On the arrival side, the remaining airports in the top five include Burbank, California; Houston, Texas, and Oakland, California.

That Oakland and Burbank consistently rank so well is an example of the smaller airport trend referenced by TripIt. (Burbank may also be it’s own special, happy place thanks to all the celebs flying in and out of the airport in private jets.)

As for that hometown happiness ranking, (which Honolulu topped), the report found that overall travelers living in southern cities rated their flights highest. Behind the number one ranked Honolulu, many cities below the Mason–Dixon line such as Tampa, New Orleans, Fort Lauderdale, and Atlanta captured many of the top 25 slots in the ranking. Cities rounding out the top five in this category, however, include Baltimore, Maryland; Nashville, Tennessee; Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Omaha, Nebraska.

It turns out there’s also a “happiest travel season”, according to TripIt. And the winner is fall. Travelers rated their flights the highest in the fall, with summer being the least happy season to travel. September, November, and October, nabbed the top three spots, in that order, for happy travelers.

LAX, airport, los angeles
PHOTO: The LAX sign, Los Angeles International Airport during the night. (photo via hstiver/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)

Among the additional noteworthy findings, Los Angeles’ LAX nabbed the number one spot for happiest US airport for international travelers. (And who can blame those international travelers, given LAX’s fabulous international terminal filled with glam shopping and trendy dining.)

Rounding out the top five in this category were New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Miami International Airport (MIA) and New Jersey’s Newark Liberty Airport (EWR).

One last note, the happiest flyers by generation category was topped by millennials. Yes, those born between 1983 and 1999 reported being the most satisfied flyers, followed by Baby Boomers and Generation X. The Xennials (the microgeneration between Generation X and Millennials), ranked as the least happy travelers.

What’s making Xennials so grumpy exactly?

“As Xennials, we’ve now been in the workforce for nearly two decades and many of us have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles during that time. We’ve developed preferences for how we like to travel and have less tolerance for disruption—especially those of us who are also raising young children,” said Amy Jackson, of TripIt.


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