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Why Wi-Fi is difficult, yet mandatory, for airlines — and great for passengers

Airlines are rolling out Wi-Fi to their planes as fast as they can, so you — the flyer — can get online. But many of them can’t tell you whether your flight will have Wi-Fi when you book.

At Routehappy, we track which airlines and planes (down to the different sub-type variants of each kind of plane) have Wi-Fi so that we could tell you whether your flight will be connected. We think that’s part of what makes a happier flight.

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We predicted it was going to be a big data job — and it was — but we now have the world’s most in-depth and updated database of inflight Wi-Fi ever created.

And we use it to help you pick a Wi-Fi-enabled flight if you want one. Overwhelmingly, flyers tell us (and anyone else who’ll listen) that they value inflight Wi-Fi. People like being connected for work, leisure and travel purposes.

  • Get to Inbox Zero, find out whether you have to solve a work problem as soon as you land, or even start fixing it while you’re still in the air.
  • Update your family and Facebook friends on that funny thing that happened in the airport, or Instagram that gorgeous sunset from out your plane window.
  • Let your other half know that your flight’s on time, ask them to pick you up some lunch for the car, or make a surprise dinner reservation at your favorite spot.

We live in a connected world now, and flyers increasingly want to be connected en route to their destination. That’s why they want flights with Wi-Fi.

Compare up to four flights with Routehappy's Comparison Tool!

That’s especially true in the US, where our population density means that air-to-ground connectivity is possible. That’s the kind of Wi-Fi where cellphone towers point upwards to planes criss-crossing the country. It’s roughly the speed of a cellphone data connection — but shared between the plane. So, fast enough to do your basic business online.

Satellite connectivity, chosen by some airlines instead of (or alongside) air-to-ground networks, has hit a speedbump along the road to connectivity: federal regulators want to make sure that the hump on top of the plane that contains the big antenna will withstand a birdstrike.

wifi-none

That’s slowed some airlines down in outfitting their fleets. But don’t worry — you don’t need to track the rollouts, since Routehappy has you covered.

And we’re the only flight search site to let you know when you’ll find Wi-Fi internationally, too. Dozens of international flights from the US now have connectivity. We’ll help you find them.

We’ll even tell you what the situation is when we can’t be certain, so you can make the best decision for your flight.

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We do the work of figuring out where there’s Wi-Fi, so you don’t have to.

Try it out: find a flight with Wi-Fi right now!

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Posted in Routehappy, Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi at London Heathrow Airport’s terminals from Saturday, June 1st

Hey there friends! Routehappy here, coming to you live from London Heathrow, where we’ve just learned that the airport will be providing free Wi-Fi Internet for all passengers across all its terminals from June 1st — that’s this Saturday!

We love free Wi-Fi, but there are a few catches.

Takeoff at London Heathrow

To start off with, every passenger will get 45 minutes a day for each device, but Heathrow Rewards loyalty cardholders get that allowance doubled. That’s a good reason to become a member alone.

Check out all the details on the new service from our pals at Jaunted.

Need more time than that? You can either pull out your credit card and fork out for the pay-per-use Wi-Fi (it’s the same Boingo system as previously, just with a free 45 minutes) or use our handy trick and pick up a pay-as-you-go data SIM card for your phone.

We just grabbed one from the 3 mobile phone network with a month of Internet for twenty pounds (that’s around 30 US dollars).

They’re available from the vending machines like this one:

London Heathrow's SIM card vending machines are just great!

We’ve spotted them in all the terminals, usually in the arrivals area, and the nano-SIM card is plug-and-play: we slotted it into our unlocked iPhone, powered it on, and were sucking down emails immediately. It comes with an adapter to use with micro-SIM and regular SIM card slots too.

In addition to being able to use our phone for maps, email, Facebook and Twitter while we were in the UK, we’re flying out today, and that extra hour of being online between boarding and when the doors close will be very useful!

Find a happier flight to London Heathrow today!

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Posted in British Airways, London, Virgin Atlantic, Wi-Fi

International Wi-Fi on American? Yep.

[Airline inflight Wi-Fi wireless Internet symbol] American Airlines' new Boeing 777-300ER planes have international Wi-Fi Internet onboard. Pick those planes and you can Facebook your way to your final destination. Routehappy. Fly better.
International Wi-Fi is the next big thing. Routehappy is the only flight search site that tracks it outside the US, so that you know where you’ll be able to get to the cloud, in the clouds. Find a happier flight right now.

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Posted in American, Boeing 777, Genius tips, Wi-Fi

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.

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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.

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

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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

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

“Gogo was charging $16.95 for a 24h pass on board… cheaper to buy it in advance from Delta for $14.”

"Gogo was charging $16.95 for a 24h pass on board... cheaper to buy it in advance from Delta for $14."
Great tip there from the fantastic Vicki. Read more of her expert reviews or learn how we factor Wi-Fi into our exclusive Happiness Scores.

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Posted in Delta, Flyer tips, Happiness Factors, 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

Find a happier flight with Routehappy right now!
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