U.S. Airports Ranked by Staff Friendliness: From Warm Welcomes to Grumpy Encounters

by Alice

For weary travelers navigating the bustling corridors of airports, a friendly smile or helpful gesture can make all the difference. According to a recent study conducted by Upgraded Points, some airports excel in providing such hospitality, while others fall short in delivering a welcoming experience.

Topping the list of friendliest airport staff in the United States is Portland International Airport in Oregon, boasting an impressive “friendliness score” of 43.6 out of 50. Garnering 19 percent of all Yelp reviews citing the warmth of its staff, Portland International Airport earned accolades for its welcoming atmosphere.


Securing the second position is Indianapolis International Airport, with a commendable score of 43.3. Noteworthy for its minimal complaints regarding Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers, this airport reinforces the importance of courteous interactions with travelers. Following closely behind is Jacksonville International Airport in Florida, renowned for its cheerful and helpful staff, earning a score of 39.


The study, which analyzed Yelp and Google reviews for the 50 busiest airports across the country, scrutinized mentions of friendliness and rudeness to determine the rankings. Upgraded Points emphasized the significance of positive encounters with airport staff in alleviating the stress of travel, while also highlighting the impact of unfavorable interactions, such as encountering grumpy TSA agents or unenthusiastic personnel.


However, not all airports fared as well in terms of staff friendliness. Newark Liberty International Airport found itself at the bottom of the list, with a paltry friendliness score of 3.65. Notably, 5.7 percent of reviews at this airport specifically noted encounters with rude staff, with an additional 2 percent mentioning unpleasant interactions with TSA officers, marking the highest incidence nationwide.

Similarly, Miami International Airport ranked second to last in terms of friendliness, scoring a mere 9.11. With only 3.4 percent of reviews praising the friendliness of its staff and 5.1 percent highlighting encounters with rude personnel, the airport’s hospitality fell short of expectations.

While navigating airports inevitably entails some level of stress, travelers can take proactive steps to enhance their experience. Suggestions include investing in services like concierge-style airport greeters, arriving prepared for security screenings, and dressing comfortably to mitigate discomfort during travel.



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