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Discover all you ever needed to know about the state of airline seating!

Seat types you'll find on Routehappy.com

We’re thrilled to release our latest Air Travel Insight report, “Size matters: finding the best seats in the sky”.

Curious as to how many flights within the US have Roomier seats in economy? Or how many flights give you the option of Extra Legroom Economy in exchange for loyalty to the airline or a few bucks?

Or want to know whether the domestic US route you’re flying has international style flat beds up front? Perhaps you’re flying internationally, and want to know how your airline’s offerings stack up against the competition.

We’ve crunched the data in our custom database Flightpad — the same information we show every flyer on a flight-by-flight basis when they find a happier flight at Routehappy — to tell you all that and more.

Download the report today at routehappy.com!

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Posted in Insights & tips, Routehappy, Routehappy favorites

Summer travel tips on how to fly better, from a real mom

Flying with kids can be a great experience, but how do you find the flights that keep the kids entertained — and keep you sane?

Routehappy’s director of PR and communications (and mom of two boys!) Kellie Pelletier shares some of her top tips and explains how Routehappy helps her family fly better.

Air New Zealand's friendly flight crews delight smaller travelers, but how can you keep them happy closer to home?

Air New Zealand’s friendly flight crews delight smaller travelers, but how can you keep them happy closer to home?


Traveling with the family, especially young children, is one of the hardest things parents do, or at least it is for me! Over the years I’ve developed a core toolkit of tips:

  • Hungry kids are grumpy kids, and hungry adults are grumpy too! Pack granola bars, and assemble a few zip-lock bags of trail mix, plus a couple of treats, for the road and the plane. My kids love the tubes of apple sauce, and the sucking required to eat the snack pops can unblock ears.
  • Spend time with the airport maps. Figure out the general layout (how to get from the parking lot to the terminal to security) before you leave home. Print the map at home, and trace your route with a highlighter pen. Works great as a treasure map for kids too!  Once you’ve checked in online, figure out which gate you’re heading for.
  • Save time at the TSA: kids under 12 do not have to take off their shoes. And keep that iPad in your purse, because unlike your laptop, your iPad does not have to be removed and scanned separately. Plus, the TSA makes accommodations for medicine, special diets (like Almond Milk for casein-free diets), and breast milk, but take these items out and let the agents know what you’re packing and why. It never hurts to have a doctor’s note for special diets and medicine.
  • Plan out where you’ll wait for your flight. The gate is not always the best option! Sometimes a family restaurant or kids’ play area is en route. The airport-themed play area at Philadelphia airport is one of my kids’ favorite places on earth.
  • Don’t forget that if you bought a ticket for the kids, they get their own luggage allowances too. Board first (consider paying a little extra if necessary) so that you can stow all the family’s stuff at or near your row.
  • No one wants to sit in the last row, but I actually prefer the last row when traveling with the kiddos.  We’re close to the bathroom, so we are likely to avoid accidents.  Plus, the constant line of people coming and going to the potty will keep the kids entertained.  A good game of peek-a-boo with a stranger can ward off a tantrum! Finally, if one of more of the kids does burst into hysterics, you’re only bothering a few rows in front of you, instead of in front of you and behind you.

The question I am most often asked is, “What’s the best airline for kids?” It’s not really about the best airline, as it is the comfiest plane with lots of perks to keep the kids occupied and content.

More legroom, extra space, better entertainment, plugs, Wi-Fi and more are calculated in Routehappy's database, Flightpad.
And happily the folks at Routehappy built a website that reveals the services and amenities that make flying with the family a little easier. Routehappy displays everything I need to know on the results page such as whether or not the flight has Wi-Fi, entertainment or extra legroom.

We call them Happiness Factors. It’s so easy to choose the happiest flight that even the kids can be part of the decision. Especially important for family travelers:

  • Seat back entertainment (unlimited Disney Jr? And I get my iPad back? Yes please!)
  • Wi-Fi (your teen is stuck on a plane for five hours—perfect time to write that book report)
  • Extra legroom so your 12 month old, who just learned to walk and refuses to sit, can stand and roam without walking the aisle
  • Extra legroom so your 2-year-old can’t kick the seat in front of you
  • Wider seat so your toddler can share your seat and cuddle during nap time
  • a 3-across seat layout so your child can lay across you and your significant other during nap time… or a 4-across seat layout so your family of 4 can sit together
  • Plugs and USB sockets so everyone can recharge their own devices on long-haul trips

And Routehappy’s quick toggle between Happiest and Cheapest means that parents can really weigh up price versus value for the very first time.

I can find those few bigger planes on popular routes, or the better planes when flying to Grandma’s house (which means I can avoid wrangling a toddler onto a tiny regional jet).

Find that happier flight for you and your family right now!

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Posted in Genius tips, Philadelphia, Routehappy favorites

Airplane food can make you happy: Singapore Airlines and Gotham Bar & Grill

We’re always on the lookout for things that make you happier inflight. And one of the ways to happiness, we know, is through your stomach!

That’s why inflight food is one of the Happiness Factors we’re thinking about adding to Routehappy. We already track aircraft type, seat type, seat layout, entertainment, power, Wi-Fi, duration and connections, plus a flyer rating from real travelers just like you.

Read more about Routehappy’s signature Happiness Factors!

As part of our research, the folks at Singapore Airlines suggested that we come watch new dishes for their onboard menus being developed by the team at Gotham Bar & Grill, a New York institution.

Chefs at Gotham Bar & Grill work with Singapore Airlines to create innovative inflight food.

Three of the Gotham chefs were cooking and plating up potential options for the three chefs on the Singapore Airlines side.

The trick for food in the air is to aim for umami. That’s the rich, savory taste that you’d find in soy sauce, parmesan cheese, soup stock, and so on.

That’s because taste buds don’t work the same at 8,000 feet of altitude (that’s the equivalent to what you’d find inside most planes these days) as they do at sea level.

Singapore Airlines' chefs take great pride in figuring out how to translate food from kitchen to plane.

But, as British chef Heston Blumenthal explains in his work helping British Airways with their food, adding umami makes food taste much better in the air.

The food we tasted with Singapore Airlines was very umami-rich — a stuffed veal with marsala wine reduction and roasted (nearly caramelized) vegetables, for example.

Singapore Airlines' veal with marsala wine looks delicious.

Or a skin-on chicken breast with onions and a crispy polenta cake. Yum.

The key to keeping chicken tasty in flight: the skin.

And let’s not even talk about the desserts. If the pineapple cremeux with Thai green curry ice cream (yes, really — it was insanely great!) doesn’t make it on board then there’s no justice in the world.

Yes, Thai green curry ice cream. Sounds insane, tastes insanely good.

Yep, this is very much food for the front of the plane. But the principles of adding umami are the same for those of us who travel down the back too.

And as we tasted and chatted with the Singapore Airlines chefs, one of the most interesting things we observed was how much thought they were already giving to assembling each dish on board.

Singapore Airlines' chefs are careful to ensure that the dishes can be replicated on a plane.

A professional chef is just fine with eight to ten steps from pan to plate. But when your chef is a flight attendant, with just convection ovens, steam ovens and a microwave to make your restaurant-quality dinner — and serving dozens of other people in the cabin too — it’s clear why the team at Singapore Airlines are so keen to make the food elegant, delicious and simple.

The phone camera: tool of choice for today's modern airline chef.

Our favorite part of the process? Chef Chan taking pictures with her Galaxy Note tablet-phone. No, she’s not Instagramming this — it’s so that she can teach her crew how to replicate each step of the process.

We’ll be bringing you more on inflight food and other Happiness Factors we’re developing for Routehappy. Keep in touch with us here on the Routehappy blog, join the conversation on Twitter, or follow our Facebook page. We’d love to hear what makes food on a plane great (or gross!) for you.

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Posted in Food, New York, Routehappy favorites, Singapore, Singapore Airlines

Yes, that Air Koryo. The one from North Korea.

craig-s-air-koryo-legroom-exit-rows
Of course you want to read more from Craig S… and more about Air Koryo!

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Posted in Air Koryo, Beijing, Flyer tips, Ilyushin IL-62, Postcards, Pyongyang, Routehappy favorites, Seat Layout, Seats

Now that’s Linsanity, Delhi.

sankar-s-del-jeremy-lin-papers-bathroom-delhi

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Posted in Airports, Delhi, Flyer tips, Genius tips, Postcards, Routehappy favorites

We still love flying on a Boeing 747.

[Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400, Upper Class] "With Virgin Atlantic, the 747s are a mixed bag in business: roomier seats, but ceilings & fittings are last-generation." -John W, Virgin Atlantic Upper Class London to Newark, on Routehappy
Read more real-world reviews from John W or more thoughts about Virgin Atlantic from Routehappy’s expert members!

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Posted in Airline, Boeing 747, Flyer tips, London, New York, Postcards, Routehappy favorites, Seats, Type of plane, Virgin Atlantic

On the Boeing 777, go for nine-abreast seating. Trust us.

[Seat layout/cabin configuration] Get rid of a neighbor. Most Boeing 777 planes have nine seats across, but some airlines squeeze in a tenth. Guess where that space comes from? Yep: your seat. Pick a cabin layout that's 2-5-2 or 3-3-3 for a roomier, better flight. Routehappy. Fly better.
That’s why Routehappy counts Seat Layout as part of our revolutionary Happiness Factors. Use them to find a happier flight right now.

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Posted in Boeing 777, Genius tips, Routehappy favorites, Seat Layout, Seats, Type of plane

We’d still be out there on the Hamburg Airport rooftop too.

[image of observation deck at Hamburg Airport in Germany] "German airports typically have observation decks and no lack of interested observers, even on a foggy night." -Henry J, in Hamburg, on Routehappy
Check out the rest of Hamburg Airport or read more from our prolific expert Henry J!

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Posted in Airports, Flyer tips, Genius tips, Hamburg, Postcards, Routehappy favorites

Yeah, we weren’t sorry to see those go either…

[new economy class seats on Cathay Pacific] "Yeah! Cathay Pacific got rid of the seats that slide forward." -Sankar S, Hong Kong to JFK, on Routehappy
Sankar S has some of the funniest reviews on Routehappy! Check them out, as well as more thoughts on Cathay Pacific from our expert reviewers.

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Posted in Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong, New York, Postcards, Routehappy favorites, Seats

Good, solid, Irish fare on board Aer Lingus.

EI: Aer Lingus Irish airline: "Bar service (pay for alcoholic drinks), lunch (beef or chicken), coffee and tea, a scone for tea time before landing, and more tea and coffee. The food is good, nothing outstanding, and you can pre-order fancier meals and the normal special diet meals when you book online." -Taylor M, Dublin to Boston Logan, Aer Lingus Economy, on Routehappy. Fly better.
Heading across the Atlantic? Aer Lingus can be a real hidden gem. Read more about it in expert reviews (with great photos) from Taylor M!

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Posted in Flyer tips, Food, Routehappy favorites
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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