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.


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.


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.

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
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