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Have and Have Not

If you’re a reality show junkie (especially if you’re flying an airline like JetBlue or Virgin America that have live satellite TV offerings) you may have come across CBS’s Big Brother, now in their 15th season.

If you’re not familiar with the show, it works like this: 16 “houseguests” live together in a house built on the CBS studio lots, completely cut off from the outside world for 3 months. They struggle for power with the end goal of being the last one standing, with a $500,000 check to sweeten the deal.

Each week, a competition is held to compete for luxuries, and the losers become “have-nots” for the week. When you become a have-not, you have to eat “slop” as your main meal for the week (which is some sort of a cold oatmeal-type substance) and sleep in a more uncomfortable room as opposed to a normal bed.

BIG BROTHER

This year, the folks at CBS put on their #avgeek hats and recreated a coach class cabin of their very own, complete with some rather basic seats (which do not recline, by the way) and plenty of space for their luggage.

BIG BROTHER

At Routehappy, we’re all about our unique Happiness Scores that tell fliers what flights are the happiest and at the best price, ranging from 0-10. Thinking about this cabin, we wanted to put our Happiness Factors to the test and build a score for the Have-Not room:

big-jetAircraft Type: It’s hard to say, but we think this is a much older aircraft judging by the older tray tables and baggage compartments, not to mention the super retro luggage they’ve uncovered.

roomier-seatSeat Type: If seated in the front row, legroom is plentiful, but in the back row – seems like an average seat pitch. There is no competition within the competition to decide who sits where. Generally only about 6 “have-nots” exist, so each should be able to get their own row.

seat-layoutSeat Layout: 3-3-3 is relatively more comfortable than 3-4-3 on those long international flights, and this angled configuration is certainly unique to the have-not room, so we’ll consider this a plus.

entertainmentEntertainment: No seatback televisions here, but instead, mirrors with cameras looking in to watch all the juicy conversations which involve lots of salacious gossip. So, that in and of itself can be entertaining.

plugsPower: Depends on the definition. No power outlets to juice up gadgets in here (since the houseguests aren’t allowed to have any in the first place), but plenty of struggles for leadership power in the house.

wi-fiWi-Fi: Houseguests are cut off from the outside world. They can’t communicate with friends or family, let alone see what’s happening on Twitter. If there is a Wi-Fi stream, it’s just for the CBS employees outside the door.

goodFlyer Rating: Initial feedback from the houseguests is quite dismal, especially combining this with the added punishment of eating “slop.” We also should mention that there isn’t an attentive flight crew around to help keep the houseguests comfortable.

really-fastThe Happiness Hover: A Have-Not “sentence” is about a week long, so think of taking an entire week to get somewhere in one of these non-luxurious seats. It’s also not a guarantee that the sentence lasts one week. If a have-not loses a subsequent competition, they might spend another week onboard.

Scoring this together, we’re going to give the Have-Not room a completely made-up (and non-scientific) Happiness Score of 1.0. We also call this our “dreadful” rating.

1p0
This uncomfortable cabin makes your flight look pretty great now, doesn’t it? With airlines investing more money than ever on new planes, seats and amenities, you’ll find all the key differences laid out helpfully and easily at Routehappy!

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Posted in Airports, Flyer tips, Seats, Type of plane

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

Fly like a Kardashian on American to LAX.

big-jet-american-airlines-mia-lax-767-777
Both roomier seats and fewer neighbors are part of our unique Happiness Scores. Window passengers don’t want to trouble more people than they have to in order to get out, and aisle passengers want a minimum of people springing over them like a gazelle/hippo in the middle of the night.

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Posted in American, Boeing 777, Genius tips, Los Angeles, Miami, Seat Layout, Seats, Type of plane

Just look at those new Boeing 737 MAX 7 winglets on Southwest Airlines!

We love keeping track of which airline has ordered what plane, what they’re putting on board, and what new amenities you’ll find once the planes start flying for you. We’re geeks like that!

But sometimes, it’s the plane itself that’s just awesome. Southwest Airlines is the launch customer for the smallest aircraft in the next generation of Boeing narrowbody (one aisle) planes, the 737 MAX 7.

Southwest's new Boeing 737 Max 7 planes look great!

The big thing? Those double winglets. They reduce fuel burn, so your flights have less environmental impact, and we’re just plain plane crazy about the way they look. Awesome, right? We can’t wait for 2019.

In the meantime (just six short years to go), we’re keeping track of everything on board the planes you’ll see today. Find a happier flight on Routehappy right now and see what’s available on your flight!

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Posted in Boeing 737, Southwest, Type of plane

Another reason to pick the Airbus A380 or Boeing 787.

[image of a wide body jet] Did you know? New jets like the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 have a lower cabin altitude. It feels like being at 6000 feet rather than 8000 feet. End result? You're less jetlagged and dehydrated.
New planes like the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 are important! That’s why we factor them into our Happiness Scores, so that you can fly better.

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Posted in Airbus A380, Boeing 787, Genius tips, Type of plane

Find the happiest flights this Memorial Day weekend

The long Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner — have you booked your flights for a relaxing weekend yet? Routehappy helps you find the happiest flight for the lowest price, no matter where you’re jetting off to.

Let’s take an example: you want to head from LA to Miami for the weekend, leaving the Friday before Memorial Day, returning Monday.

The happiest flight is right there in our default Happiness Sort: an Elated 8.9 on Virgin America to Fort Lauderdale, with all the amenities and extra-wide, Roomier seats. And that $608 price looks pretty good for booking just a couple weeks out.

virgin-america-lax-mia

But we all want to see how that price matches up against the competition. So let’s see what happens when you use Routehappy’s powerful Cheapest sort.

cheapest-sort

The Cheapest sort ranks flights first by price, and then by Happiness Score.

cheapest-lax-mia

Yikes! Who would have thought that a direct flight on American Airlines would be cheaper than ultra-low cost carrier Spirit? And Spirit’s cheapest involves spending three hours more on a plane, flying via Detroit and getting a Tight seat. Nicely avoided, savvy traveler.

Another Routehappy bonus: check out all those American options going for $537. Routehappy’s the only flight search site that shows you how each of those flights is different so you can make an educated decision based on what you want most.

american-options

If comfort is the most important thing for you (and it is for most people), that 777 flight is the best. Those international-configuration 777s are more than an inch roomier than the smaller 737s, and the 2-5-2 layout means that people traveling in pairs can snag themselves their own little section.

american-777-lax-mia

But, as our More Details page shows you, you’ll know to bring your iPad or a really good book to keep yourself entertained.

With all the information you need from Routehappy’s team of Flight Geniuses, you can figure out what’s most important to you: how about a Boeing 737-800 with plugs, Wi-Fi and the possibility of “Netflix-server-in-a-plane” streaming video? Or you might prefer a Boeing 767 with the popular 2-3-2 layout: fewer neighbors and only one middle seat per row.

Find a happier flight right now, or keep up to date with us on Facebook and Twitter for more expert tips, real-world reviews and handy hints!

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Posted in American, Boeing 737, Boeing 767, Boeing 777, Los Angeles, Miami, Plugs, Seats, Type of plane, Virgin America, Wi-Fi

Weather forecast: 50% chance of Wi-Fi. (We help make it 100% for you.)

Your flight is partially cloudy. Over 60 flights a day shuttle between Chicago and New York. But only half of them have Wi-Fi. That's two and a half hours where you could be getting things (or some vitally important Facebooking) done. Routehappy. Fly better.
Wi-Fi is just one of the Happiness Factors that Routehappy tracks. Think of us as the meteorologists of flight search. Use our expertise to find a happier flight right now!

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Posted in Chicago, Genius tips, New York, Type of plane, Wi-Fi

Look at all the storage space on Thai’s A380!

"Very nice new business class product on their A380." -Ben H, on Thai Airways, on Routehappy.
Don’t miss Ben H’s other reviews — and check out more expert tips about Thai Airways.

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Posted in Airbus A380, Bangkok, Flyer tips, Postcards, Seat Layout, Seats, Thai, Type of plane

What do you think about these layouts? Good or bad?

"Air New Zealand business class on the Boeing 777-300 has the staggered layout with large lie-flat seats, and large personal screens. The only problem... it is difficult to see out the window." -James M, Auckland to Melbourne, on Routehappy
Controversial review there, James! Some people love Air New Zealand‘s Business Premier seat, some aren’t as convinced. Which one are you? Sound off in our comments or join the discussion on Twitter or Facebook.

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Posted in Air New Zealand, Auckland, Boeing 777, Melbourne, Seat Layout, Seats, Type of plane

Look how wide those entertainment screens are!

"Brand new Emirates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with the most amazing IFE yet." -Jason L, flying EK Dubai to Frankfurt, on Routehappy
Flying on Emirates? We’ve got you covered with reviews from Routehappy members, including some great tips from Jason L.

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Posted in Boeing 777, Dubai, Emirates, Entertainment, Flyer tips, Frankfurt, Postcards, Type of plane
Routehappy helps you fly better.
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