Flex your fingertips.

If you’ve searched for a flight on Routehappy, you know we’re all about getting you the happiest flight — for the lowest price. But did you ever notice our searches are filled with all sorts of hidden gems and info nuggets that could turn the ordinary flight experience into something extraordinary?

2013-06-27_1923

Since we’re always up for some fun on a Friday, the team at Routehappy decided to turn our vast database, Flightpad, into the perfect opportunity to have a little contest. And we’re playing it out over on Twitter @Routehappy.

Here’s how it works: At about 12pm EST on Friday 6/28, we’ll start tweeting a few questions. You’ll find the answers on Routehappy.com. Be first to answer them correctly, and we’ll reward you handsomely with one of these luxurious Routehappy t-shirts. (And we do mean luxurious). We might even throw in a little something extra.

t-shirt

So, are you ready? Flex your search muscle (which could be your fingertips) and we’ll see you at noon!

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Posted in Flyer tips, Genius tips, Routehappy

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

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.

wifi-yes

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.

wifi-maybe
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

The happiest flights in the US for July 4th

With just two weeks left until Independence Day, have you figured out where you’re going for the long weekend? July 4th falls on a Thursday this year — perfect for a long weekend getaway!

So we took a look at Routehappy to give you some great ideas about where you can fly happiest this July 4th, looking at economy flights leaving Wednesday July 3rd and getting back on Sunday July 7th.

The classic place to spend Independence Day is Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love and the location of the signing (July 1st) and ratification (July 4th) of the Declaration of Independence. Virgin America VX 136 from SFO will get you there the happiest, with a Roomier seat, Wi-Fi, on-demand entertainment and plugs to keep your devices charged up.
july-4-happiest-flights-sfo-phl-single
But of course, you’ll want to compare other options, like the US Airways flights from San Francisco. They have Wi-Fi — and the Airbus A321 planes have 32″ of legroom, an inch more than US Airways’ standard — but no plugs. Are the extra benefits on Virgin America worth the difference to you? Our powerful Comparison Tool lets you compare what you’ll find on board. You won’t find that anywhere else.

The happiest flights from San Francisco to Philadelphia

If you’re planning to spend July 4th in our nation’s capital, the happiest way to get to Washington DC is on Virgin America flight VX1 from San Francisco to DCA — Washington’s city-center airport right on Metro.

Heading to Hotlanta? The happiest flight to ATL is DL630 from Detroit, with an impressive 8.6 Happiness Score. That’s one of our favorite “international plane on a domestic flight” hidden gems, and we love showing you how, for no extra cash, you can have a much better flight!

If you want some heat and are flying to Phoenix, the happiest way to get there is jetBlue flight 135, with its 34 inches of legroom in standard economy.

Want some Windy City? United has three Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights from Houston — and with their big windows, entertainment, plugs and cabin pressure equal to 6000 feet rather than other planes’ 8000 feet, you won’t feel as tired or dehydrated.

But if a tropical trip to beautiful Hawaii is on the cards, you’ll be happiest flying Hawaiian Airlines, with flights from Seattle, Sacramento, Oakland and Phoenix sharing an Elated 8.7 Happiness Score. Aloha!

No matter where you’re flying to for July 4th, Routehappy can help you find the happiest flight — and at the lowest price. You don’t need to spend more to get more.

Find your own happiest flight right now!

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Posted in Comparison Tool, Routehappy

Use Routehappy’s new Comparison Tool to compare up to four flights in detail

We’re excited to bring you a world first in our mission to find you the happiest flight: our powerful new Comparison Tool.
Routehappy Comparison tool
For the first time ever, you can compare up to four flights side-by-side, right from our results page. With Routehappy’s signature Happiness Factors displayed clearly, you can figure out which of the flights is best for your needs. Like these options from New York to LAX — which are separated by a single dollar:
Routehappy Comparison Tool NYC to LAX
Is great on-demand entertainment more important to you on a six-hour flight? Or would you trade it for two extra inches of legroom? Or how about a plane with the popular pairs of seats by the windows — perfect for snoozing with your sweetie?

More than ever, the Comparison Tool lets Routehappy help you figure out what’s really important for your specific flight. And it takes the guesswork out of figuring out which flight is better, like on these Air France flights from New York to Paris:
NYC to Paris - Routehappy comparison tool
Identical prices, just a couple hours’ differences in departure times, but look at the difference in happiness. Pretty cool, right?

Find your happiest flight with our new Comparison Tool right now!

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Posted in Air France, Comparison Tool, Happiness Factors, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Routehappy

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

Haneda kind of rhymes with Canada, if you’re wondering.

Los Angeles LAX to Tokyo TYO (HND or NRT): Haneda or Narita in Tokyo? You might not know that Tokyo's city center Haneda Airport now takes international flights. Just two of the dozen daily nonstops from LA land right in the center of town. Look for Delta or ANA All Nippon from LAX to HND.
There are good reasons to fly to Tokyo Narita too — mainly if you want to connect to somewhere that isn’t Tokyo — but if you’re heading to Japan’s capital then Haneda Airport is a great option.

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Posted in Airports, ANA, Delta, Genius tips, Tokyo

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

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

Board faster, be happier on American Airlines: carry less on board

Flyers tell us that the boarding process is one of the most stressful parts of their trip. All that waiting while that one guy tries to maneuver his enormous case into the bin, or has to push his way back to the front of the cabin after stowing it in row 22.

So American Airlines is making it easier for people who don’t have bulky bags: those folks now get their own special priority place in line.

The new “Customers Without Overhead Luggage” boarding group slots in after frequent flyers, business/first class passengers, uniformed military and anyone who’s bought priority boarding.

Board earlier if you don't need to put anything in the overhead bin.

You’ll need to fit your bag under the seat in front of you in order to board, so the real benefit to flying lighter is getting to skip waiting in that enormous line that snakes down the aisle and onto the jetway.

Is it worth it to you? We’re interested whether this makes you happier, or whether you’ll still be wheeling your rollaboard down the aisles. Let us know here on the Routehappy blog, join the conversation on Twitter, or discuss it on our Facebook page.

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Posted in Uncategorized
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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