TripIt and data mining expert Kelly Soderlund took a deep dive into all those reviews left by TripIt users following flights and travel plans to show what various parts of the travel experience make travelers happiest. While there are some that we would expect, there are a couple of surprises as well.
What Makes the Happiest Travelers
Basic Economy > Regular Economy
One of the most surprising parts of the report has to do with Basic Economy flights. According to the report, travelers flying on basic economy tickets (which would mean that the ticket confers no change abilities, no seat selections, no bags, no mileage earnings, and more) ranked that experience as a more positive one that regular economy – which gives you all of those things.
Maybe it has to do with airlines clearly showing you what kind of ticket you are buying and what it would cost to up-charge that to regular economy? There have been many times that I have seen triple digit differences in cost to buy a main economy ticket over a basic economy ticket. Such a revelation can certainly allow you to think that you can put up with basic economy restrictions when you are saving so much – and maybe that yields a “happier” traveler experience?
When it comes to airports, Texas take the prize in the top 10 domestic airports. Dallas Love Field (DAL) comes in #1 and Houston Hobby (HOU) comes in #2. San Antonio (SAT) comes in at #9. Is it a coincidence that these airports have a heavy Southwest presence and why they are #1 and #2 and #9 domestically? Maybe not!
On the international front, there is not a US airport to be found. That is not that big of a surprise since the NYC-area airports are not that great and other major international airports have some problems as well.
But, it is not just US airports that are left of the list as it is made up completely of airports in Asia and the South Pacific with Doha (DOH) taking the top spot.
The report includes more aspects like what travelers find to be their chief concern for amenities as well as the best travel season (another surprise with winter travel ranking higher – January ranking over 30% higher than June!). Read all of this and more with the whole report here.