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Just try to resist making little plane noises. We dare you.

[image of salt and pepper cellar in the form of a clear plastic propeller aircraft] "The salt and pepper shaker is a little plane!" -Robert A on Virgin America on Routehappy.
Aren’t those Virgin America salt shakers awesome? (Did you know Virgin Atlantic‘s have ‘pinched from Virgin Atlantic’ on the bottom to give light-fingered passengers a laugh? See what else Routehappy’s CEO Robert A got up to on his flight!

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Posted in Airline, Flyer tips, Food, Virgin America

#Shark(let)Week

So long as you haven’t been living under a rock (or in this case, aren’t a certain seal), you know that this week is once again #SharkWeek on the Discovery Channel.

While the idea of sharks and planes don’t normally come together (let alone tornados filled with sharks), Airbus has solved this quandary with Sharklets.

Sharklets are fuel-saving wingtip devices that replace conventional wingtips and are currently being installed on the new Airbus A320 family of aircraft to roll off the production line.  Some airlines are retrofitting their A320s, including JetBlue who famously captured the project in this YouTube video earlier this year (click the photo to watch):

JetBlue A320 with Sharklets (source: jetblue.com)

Sharklets reduce the amount of drag generated by aircraft lift, which requires less thrust and thus less fuel needed. If you know anything about airline economics, fuel is the top expenditure, which in turn can drive up ticket cost. Saving fuel saves money and perhaps airlines will share that savings with their passengers.

JetBlue isn’t the only airline to go shark, so has Virgin America and Air New Zealand. We’re told that while there is a big reduction in drag, this should have no affect on any in-flight entertainment containing drag queens.

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Posted in Air New Zealand, Airbus A318, Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Airbus A321, Airline, jetBlue, New York, Virgin America

Oh Baby, Baby!

He has arrived, the #royalbaby. The world is taking to social media to announce their joys over the birth of Wills & Kate’s little one. But once the Royal couple are in need of a holiday to the States to get away — and, of course, to introduce the baby to America — how might the world’s number one set of new parents get here? Here at Routehappy we specialize in make the trip as happy for them (or you) no matter whether you’re traveling like a prince, princess or the fourteenth footman downstairs.

American Airlines, LHR – DFW on a freshly steeped 777-300ER

Let’s say the Royal family wants to take a trip to Dallas/Fort Worth. You know, land of big hair and personalities — oh, and that quintessential American department store, Neiman Marcus. They can hop onboard American Airlines’ new 777-300ER from Heathrow and make the 10 hour or so hop to the big D. Onboard, we’d recommend they sit in these comfortable first class full flat pods.

AAFIRST

Air New Zealand, LHR to LAX on 777-300

Perhaps Kate wants to have high tea and trade Mommy (sorry, Mummy) tips with our very own Royal Mother in the US, Kim Kardashian.  For her, we’d recommend a hop on a true hidden gem. Air New Zealand flies from LHR with an ultimate goal of ending up in Auckland (AKL) of course, but since no aircraft can yet reach quite that far, they make a leisurely stop in Los Angeles (LAX). The London-LA leg is one of the best kept secrets in all of Hollywood.

Air New Zealand is known for their fabulous Kiwi staff, luxury and effervescence. When Kate needs that drink refreshed, she can belly up to the in-flight bar and select a delicious New Zealand wine (or two), chat with fellow passengers or head back to her full flat pod business class seat.

ANZKIA

British Airways, LCY to JFK, on A318

Before you question a possible typo at the end there, we did mean A318. This is an all business class flight that jaunts from London City airport to Shannon, Ireland, and eventually to JFK. The stop in Shannon is quite brilliant – it’s a United States pre-clearance zone which allows folks on certain flights to clear customs in Ireland and avoid the sometimes long lines at JFK. Here’s a look at this intimate cabin with just 32  full flat seats:

BA_Airbus_A318_cabin

British Airways, LHR to NYC (JFK or EWR), on a 777-200 or 747-400

If taking a brief Irish pitstop isn’t their jive, and the idea of a cozy private space seems more appealing, they may opt for a full flat pod in BA’s New First Class, offered on most flights to the US. Important note: supermodel Rachel Weisz isn’t included in the ticket price.

Seat - First Class Full Flat Pod - British Airways - New First - Rachel Weisz

Virgin Atlantic, LHR to JFK, on A330-300

Another exceedingly shiny way to get from LHR to JFK is Virgin Atlantic, in Upper Class. Virgin offers swish new full flat pod seating, a wide selection of on-demand entertainment, comfortable 1-1-1 seating layout, plugs, and a trial of Wi-Fi on most flights. Their new Dream Suites make the flight really comfortable and stylish.

Seat - Full Flat Pod - Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Dream Suite - A330 only

Naturally, one needn’t be related to Her Majesty to want a happier, more comfortable flight. And we at Routehappy don’t think you should have to pawn off the family jewels to pay for it! Find your own happiest flight — for the lowest price — at Routehappy.com.

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Posted in Air New Zealand, Airbus A318, Airbus A330, Airline, American, Boeing 747, Boeing 777, British Airways, Dallas, Flyer tips, Happiness Factors, London, Los Angeles, New York, Plugs, Seat Layout, Seats, Virgin Atlantic

A Taste of Qatari Hospitality

First off, we’d like to wish those celebrating the holy month of Ramadan a happy one. If you’re familiar with the holiday, a key element is the practice of fasting during the day, to be broken in the evening with Iftar, the evening meal for Muslims to gather and break the fast together.

For folks flying on a five-star airline like Qatar Airways during daylight hours, that may mean missing out on a scrumptious meal. But never fear, Qatar has stepped up to the plate (literally) with tailored “Iftar Boxes” for flyers to consume later once able to break the fast.

MEALONE

There are two boxes – one for vegetarians and one for non-vegetarians, with the key difference being a saaj wrap either with chicken or without. It also comes with tasty crudites, the airline’s signature mixed fruit and nuts, as well as a banana and some other noshables to complete the dining experience.

The boxes are available on Qatar flights between Doha and the Gulf, Middle East and North Africa to passengers in Business and Economy class who decline meals due to fasting. The meals are presented around the fast break time by their cabin crew later in the flight.

If you’re flying on Qatar and happen to enjoy one of these Iftar Boxes, be sure to tell us about it by writing a review on Routehappy!

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Posted in Airline, Flyer tips

Happiest flights – Patriotic Edition

Yesterday, we shared with you some of the happiest flights for July 4th, and nothing celebrates America’s birthday like the magic of flight. Heck, we invented the idea of air travel, didn’t we?

Routehappy users tell us that they love being able to find flights based on happiness and onboard amenities, all for the lowest price, so we were curious to find out what the happiest flights were on one day this week for each of the ten largest US airlines: AirTran, Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, Southwest, United and Virgin America.

So, what’s happiest all across the United States? Here’s a look:

10: AirTran’s happiest flight: Milwaukee to Atlanta

Flight 588 from Milwaukee to Hotlanta is the happiest flight on AirTran. Having Wi-Fi onboard can make the time fly real fast (literally).

9: Frontier’s happiest flight: Madison, WI to Washington (DCA)

Cheeseheads flying from Madison to Washington, DC have Frontier’s happiest offering, flight 1620. With a spacious, new E190 jet (and only two passengers on either side of the aisle) plus Wi-Fi, and an Excellent flyer rating, this is one happy flight to DCA!

F9

8: American Airlines’ happiest flight: San Francisco to New York

Being on a spacious widebody 767-200 on this Wi-Fi equipped journey helps keep folks happy on their way to the Big Apple.

7: US Airways’ happiest flight: Tampa to Charlotte

This Airbus A321 offers a little more room and Wi-Fi to make the trip from the Tarheel state to the sandy beaches of Tampa/St. Pete a pleasant journey. (Also, here’s a reminder on why the US A321 is a gem.

US-Airways-A321-seats

6: Southwest Airlines’ happiest flight: Sacramento to Denver

Break out the complimentary peanuts from the happiest seat of your choice and head from the Capital of California to the sometimes snow-capped mountains of Denver along with one of the friendliest crews in the skies.

5: Alaska Airlines’ happiest flight: Washington-National to Portland

One of AS’s newest routes on a spacious 737-800 between Portlandia and the airport closest to Barack Obama’s house is a hit with hipster flyers who like to stay connected with Wi-Fi.

DCA

4: Delta Air Lines’ happiest flight: Atlanta to Los Angeles

Grab your Ray-Bans and hop on this spacious 767 to El Lay. You might even see Ryan Seacrest on the plane. (In person, not necessarily via the on-demand entertainment).

3: Hawaiian Airlines’ happiest flight: Seattle to Maui

Seattle is a beautiful city, but often cloudy. Who wouldn’t be happy to hop on their way to the sunny beaches of Hawaii in a roomy 767 seat (with a nice, wide 32” seat pitch) and a Mai-Tai?

2: United Airlines’ happiest flight: Denver to Tokyo

The 787 is a feat of American engineering, built right on our lands. The 787′s advanced design means that you’re less tired and your skin is less dehydrated, and plugs ensure your electronics aren’t dehydrated, either.

UA787

1: Virgin America’s happiest flight: Washington-Dulles to San Francisco

Politicians who wear brown suits all week long for a mood-lit flight to get on their way back to the Left Coast. They also enjoy Wi-Fi and satellite TV to pair nicely with a selection of tasty drinks and treats.

So, what’s your happiest flight of the week? Tell us below and don’t forget to review your flights on Routehappy.com!

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Posted in Airline, Flyer tips, New York, Type of plane

Kuwait Airways… from New York to London?

KU: Kuwait Airways. Three days a week, Kuwait Airways flies between New York JFK and London Heathrow. Its planes are a bit old, punctuality can be approximate - but seats are roomier than most and the price can be half the competition's. Routehappy. Fly better.
Kuwait Airways’ seats — joint prizeholder with American Airlines for the roomiest seats across the Atlantic with a spacious 32″ + Wide rating — are a real hidden gem when flying New York to London. Know someone who’d want to learn about them?

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Posted in Airline, Genius tips, Kuwait Airways, London, New York

Now you can book direct with US Airways on Routehappy!

We know that flyers like buying their tickets direct from airlines, so we’re thrilled to welcome US Airways as our latest airline booking partner. Hey there, Phoenix!

Now once you’ve found the happiest flight for the lowest price, we’ll hand you over to our buddies at US Airways to buy your ticket.

Get more legroom on US Airways flights! US Airways' Envoy suite is outstanding!

As well as US Airways, you can book direct on American Airlines, Delta and United, plus Air France, Alitalia and KLM — and we’re adding new partners frequently. For other airlines, our friends at Priceline (no longer just a bid-for-flights site!) will take good care of you.

Want more updates from Routehappy? Join us on Facebook and Twitter for all the very latest.

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Posted in Airline, Phoenix, Routehappy, US Airways

Six expert travel tips for flying United Airlines

Do you find yourself flying the friendly skies with United? If so, you’ll want to check out Routehappy users’ reviews, tips and hints on flying United. Fly better on your next trip — and don’t forget to review your flight to share your knowledge with others.

“Given that UA only have one flight a day out of Melbourne, it is surprising that they have a dedicated Lounge. (In Sydney they outsource to Air NZ). The Melbourne lounge is basic but as our flight was delayed for over 5 hours it put a strain on everyone. Not helpful with rebooking other than provide the # for reservations. Only about 3 plugs. But better than sitting outside in the terminal,” says Janel P.

Henry J has a useful caution at London Heathrow: “Terminal 4 Gate 25 is at the end of the world. Thankfully there are some moving walkways otherwise more than 10 minutes walking there at a fast pace. Gates 22-25 known as Victor Zone. Great view of planes taking off from the east end of the runways. And all of the gates in between were unoccupied.”

robert-a-united-club-chicago-ohare
“Economy Plus on United is just outstanding! I love the extra 5 inches of legroom than standard economy. My family and I were upgraded because it was a less packed flight!” reckons Mark W.

“We were traveling with a car seat and the check in attendant offered us a sturdy plastic bag to put it in for protection. They also waived the checked luggage fees on that item without us even asking for it. I appreciate that level of service from United,” concludes Kate S.

Robert A also has some tips on United’s San Francisco-Tokyo Narita food:

United business class food, San Francisco to Tokyo
“The food was tasty and plentiful overall, with two big “buts.” I really wanted the Japanese meal – something I look forward to when lucky enough to fly in biz class to Tokyo – but UA only stocks a small number so apparently only Global Services elites have a chance of getting them (they take orders on board per your status – there has to be a better way.) The second thing is that the breakfast was identical to what I had on my flight ORD to SFO earlier in the day. I was surprised that domestic and international would share the same menu.”

In Hong Kong, Michael B suggests, “Check-in at Airport Express station in Hong Kong or Kowloon to save time.”

Read more expert tips on flying United on Routehappy — or review your flight right now!

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Posted in Airline, Bangkok, Chicago, Flyer tips, Hong Kong, London, San Diego, Sydney, United

No, that’s not the seat, that’s just the footrest.

[Cathay Pacific first class footrest ottoman] "Cathay's First Class seat is the best in the air. So wide and comfy." -Michael L, New York JFK to Vancouver, Canada, on Routehappy
Want to learn more about what real travelers think of Cathay Pacific’s great seats? Or how about some more reviews and pictures from Michael L? Or, if you like the look of it, book the same happier flight on Cathay right now!

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Posted in Airline, Cathay Pacific, Flyer tips, New York, Postcards, Seats, Vancouver

Take the BA all-business “Babybus” to London.

airports-jfk-london-city-british-airways

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Posted in Airbus A318, Airline, Airports, British Airways, Genius tips, London, New York, Seat Layout, Seats, Type of plane, Wi-Fi
Routehappy helps you fly better.
Now everyone can find shorter flights with roomier seats, on nicer planes, with better entertainment, plugs, Wi-Fi and more — from better airports.

 • Why flyers need happier flight search
 • Why airlines need help differentiating
 • Happiness Factors and Happiness Scores

 • Are you a Flight Genius too?
 • Learn more by watching our 90-second video
 • Read the Routehappy launch press release

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