This Is the Happiest Airport in the World

Spoiler: It’s not in the United States.

The quality of the airport you visit can make or break your air travel experience. While the United States is home to arguably the world’s worst airport—we’re looking at you, LaGuardia—the happiest airport in the world apparently lies across the Atlantic.

HappyOrNot, a Finnish company that gathers customer feedback, recently released its inaugural Airport Report, a compilation of data from its “smiley terminals” (units with four smiley face buttons that visitors push to rate their experience at that airport) located at 160 airports in 36 countries.

The report highlighted the eight happiest airports in the world, based on their customer satisfaction levels, and named Exeter Airport in South West England the happiest airport, with an approval rating of 88.66 percent.

AirportRichard Sowersby/REX/Shutterstock

If money is no object and you simply want a pleasant airport experience, it looks like England is your best bet. In fact, four of the report’s top eight happiest airports are located in the U.K.; the others are Newcastle International Airport (87.05 percent), London Southend Airport (86.79 percent), and Cardiff Airport (86.57 percent).

There was a tie for second place between Cork Airport in the Republic of Ireland and Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport in Rome; both had satisfaction levels of 88.45. Only one American airport made the top eight, and that was Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, coming in fourth place.

The report also broke down the time, day, and month where travelers are happiest in airports. Based on their findings, traveling at 9 a.m. on a Tuesday in October or November will bring you optimal joy.

What the data doesn’t show, however, is how to have a decent experience at airports that didn’t make this list. Don’t worry: Just avoid these 16 airport mistakes that could ruin your flight, and you’ll be able to survive in any airport. Even LaGuardia.

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