There is no better way to kick off a trip than to post a selfie from your business class upgrade, take a picture of your beautiful plane parked at the gate, or pose for a snap with the captain and crew in the cockpit before takeoff.
We all love the thrill of embarking on the next journey and documenting it every step of the way, no matter if we’re heading off on a long-overdue vacation or attending a work conference to make that next big sale.
This love of photography and travel is one of the many reasons why Instagram has become the go-to social media platform for sharing wanderlust-worthy images.
With this inspiration in mind, we decided to find out which U.S. airports and airlines are the most popular on Instagram, so that the next time you’re on the road you’ll know where to capture the most Instagrammable selfies in the skies.
In the below analysis, we reviewed Instagram’s data to determine the most popular U.S. airports and airlines through September 2017. By analyzing how many followers each airport and airline have on their official accounts, TravelBank was able to determine the most popular U.S. airports and airlines among Instagram’s users.
The Top 5 Most Popular Airports
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
It’s no surprise that celebrity favorite Los Angeles International tops the list of the most popular airports on Instagram. Even as you approach the terminal the iconic LAX signs stands tall waiting for its close up, while hundreds of restaurant, shopping and entertainment options make the perfect backdrop for those pre-flight selfies. Currently in the middle of a $1.6 billion renovation, LAX will not only continue to be the place where people snap pics with the rich and famous, but it’s bound to keep flyers happy with its endless amenities and its Instaworthy locale.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
Being the third largest airport by passenger volume and serving 158 US cities and 56 international destinations is without a doubt a major reason why Chicago O’Hare ranks second most popular with travelers on Instagram. On top of that, O’Hare’s public art collection and multiple restaurants that overlook the runways make for shareable moments on Instagram.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
San Francisco International is a major travel hub for the app-loving millennials of tech-savvy San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Add in a selection of Instagrammable dining options serving local favorites (we’re looking at you Napa Farms Market) and a $2.6 billion expansion, and it’s easy to see why SFO comes in at #3 of Instagram’s most popular airports.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
With an extensive collection of over 30 public art installations, Dallas/Fort Worth International is a travel Instagrammers favorite. Two of the other most loved amenities at DFW in particular are the airport’s on-site pet hotel and observation area. While your loveable fur babies enjoy some R&R themselves, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a spectacular view of airplanes as they land and depart while you wait for your flight.
Miami International Airport (MIA)
Along with many of the airports on our list so far, Miami International has stunning art exhibits on display that are loved by the Instagram jetset. The palm trees, sparkling sun, and vacation vibes also help MIA clinch the #5 spot on our list. Oh and don’t forget to take a selfie with the adorable therapy dogs that keep passengers company while they wait to take off!
The Top 3 Most Popular Airlines
Starting with bringing free meals back to economy earlier in the year and now adding Casper sleep products to premium economy and higher cabins, AA has raised the bar and reaffirmed its commitment to passenger satisfaction with its investment in new aircraft, improvements to its business class product, the overhaul of its hub airport lounges and much more. It’s no wonder that American passengers have been eager to follow along with the company’s Instagram journey more than any other airline on our list!
Serving more international destinations than any other US airline with flights to 71 countries, Delta carries passengers across the US and around the world in style. Delta’s onboard product is regarded as the best among the big 3 airlines, and upgrades to its fleet — like serving award-winning food options and craft beer — along with tech-friendly improvements like in app luggage tracking and auto check in make Delta a favorite among the Instagram crowd.
The recent overhaul of United’s aircraft — hello Polaris! — has been well received from both business and leisure travelers, and has proven popular with Instagram users. In fact, United conducted more than 12,000 hours of research for its Polaris product, and sleep emerged as the single most important priority for flyers. With a focus on providing a more tranquil journey for customers, United Polaris features include: the roll-out of new Polaris lounges with rest spaces, spa-like showers and high-end, pre-flight dining options; a custom-designed personal onboard suite with a focus on added privacy; and sleep-focused amenities such as custom Saks Fifth Avenue luxury bedding.
Without a doubt, we’re entering into a new era and starting to see a renaissance at the nation’s major airports and airlines. With more people traveling today than ever before and increased competition among carriers – then throw in a popular social media platform like Instagram where people are documenting their every move – it’s never been easier to see which airports and airlines are really leaving an impression with travelers.
Instagram’s Most Popular U.S. Airports
In the table below, see the full data set on the 26 most popular U.S. airports on Instagram.
Instagram’s Most Popular U.S. Airlines
In the table below, see the full data set on the 10 most popular U.S. airlines on Instagram.
To assess which U.S. commercial airports and airlines are the most popular on Instagram, TravelBank examined data through September 2017. By analyzing how many followers each airport and airline have on their official Instagram accounts, TravelBank was able to determine the most popular airports and airlines among Instagram’s users. The study only ranked 26 out of 30 of the largest U.S. airports and the 10 largest U.S. airlines by passenger volume according to 2016 data. Of note, Newark Liberty International, Houston George Bush International, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International and Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye International were not included in the final ranking as these airports do not have official accounts on the social media platform.
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