Dec. 13, 2011 at 9:06 AM ET
Quick, can you guess which of the world’s airports tops the charts for the most “check ins” on social media?
We’ll give you three hints:
@alecbaldwin (since deactivated)
@aplusk (as in the ex-Mr. Demi Moore)
More people prone to self-promotion per capita than perhaps any other city on the planet.
If you answered Los Angeles International Airport, give yourself a badge. Facebook announced on Tuesday that more people check in via Facebook or a third-party location app while at LAX than at any other airport in the world.
“We are honored and excited for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) being named the ‘Most Social Airport in the World’ by Facebook,” airport officials told msnbc.com via e-mail.
Rounding out the world's top 10 social airports are Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, San Francisco, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Sydney (Australia), Phoenix, Las Vegas and Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok, Thailand).
“Travel is inherently a social thing,” said Travis Katz, founder and CEO of the social-travel site Gogobot.com. “People check in at airports because they want to let people know they’re leaving home or landing somewhere new.”
That desire may also explain some of the report’s other findings. Last year, check ins were 20 times higher than average on Dec. 18 with additional spikes occurring on Dec. 23 and 24, presumably as people headed to the airport to catch holiday flights.
After Christmas, the chatter died down again before spiking between Dec. 29–31 in anticipation of New Year’s Eve.
Unfortunately, Facebook didn’t suggest why LAX was the most social airport, although one could be forgiven for thinking the city’s celebrity culture might play a role.
“Checking in is a self-serving sort of activity and L.A. is a hotbed of self-centeredness,” said Nick O’Neill, founder of Holler.com, a location-based mobile planning and search app. “Celebrities and people like that are all about broadcasting about their awesome lives.”
By that measure, he suggested, the No. 1 ranking may say less about LAX than it does about the city it’s in: “I wonder if there’s a correlation between the volume of plastic surgeries and the number of check ins for any given location.”
Rob Lovitt is a longtime travel writer who still believes the journey is as important as the destination. Follow him at Twitter.