So you need to book some flights and you hit the usual suspects online to find the best prices: Kayak, Orbitz, Travelocity or even Fare Compare. Â But when you look at the results, it is all about the price and you are not told the whole story.Â The other sites don’t tell you what seats are like, what snacks or drinks you may expect or what fees you might be charged for who knows what. Things are now changing with RouteHappy.com, which puts Passenger Experience (#PaxEx) into the equation.
Routehappy takes what the old Metasearch websites (like Kayak) did by aggregating all the flight prices into the one site, but it takes it one step further.Â For some flyers, price is everything. But for many of us, we are willing to pay for some of the nicer things. Routehappy calls these â€œHappiness Factorsâ€.
Sure you want to pay the cheapest price, but youÂ don’tÂ want to be doing so crammed into a seat in the middle row with no way of entertaining yourself.Â The creators of RouteHappy spent a year reviewing the aircraft products and offerings, along with accepting tips from the general public, shake it all up and add it with the price data and presto… you have a truly unique & new way of looking at things!
You might be skeptical right now thinking, â€œsure, butÂ how does this all work?â€Â The site takes the fare data from the Global Distribution Systems (GDS) which holds about 80% of the worlds fare data and mixes that in with their own database called the Flight Product Attribute Database or â€œFlightPADâ€ for short. Â How extensive is FlightPAD? The database covers:
- 180 types of planes
- 750 airlines worldwide
- 4,000 airports worldwide
- 2,200 unique airline/aircraft/cabin types (e.g. Unitedâ€™s 737-700, Version 1, First Class)
- Thousands of reviews from real flyers in more than 75 countries
- 20+ kinds of entertainment options, 10+ types of inÂseat power, 55+ seatÂ configurations, and 25+ seat types, 5 types of WiÂFi, for the top scheduled flightsÂ worldwide
That is a lot of data and with all the information at your fingertips there is quite a bit you can do with it.
When you have input your flight requirements (cities, dates, how many people and the other usual factors) the RouteHappy database finds your flight results and so much more. Â As you can see in the above screen it will give you not only the price but also the â€œhappiness factorsâ€.
You can sort your results based on the usual range of factors like departure or arrival times, speed and price, but you can also display it based on the happiness factor.
The uniqueness of the site means you can start to filter the options displayed based on the other factors like entertainment, seats,Â aircraft type, power, in flight entertainment or what has the highest ratings from your fellow fliers. Â Once you have selected your flights, with one click, you are sent off to the airline’s website to book in your trip.Â This means you donâ€™t lose any benefits or are charged any extra fees that would be imposed for booking on third party sites.
“Flight search today is almost entirely about price and schedule,”said Robert Albert, Founder & CEO ofÂ Routehappy. “But thereâ€™s a wide range ofÂ other factors that matter when people buy flights.”
I happen to agree with that statement in many ways. Â As someone who works looking at fares for a living, it is a fresh perspective that can definitely help take away some of the hassle in booking your journey. Â RouteHappy is the first of it’s kind to bring together all of this information and this is just the beginning!
RouteHappy is looking to improve their system by hearing from you, the passenger.Â If you can think of something that will make someone else’s flight easier, why not they would love to hear from you.Â When they integrate an earning points possibilities into the happiness ratings, thatâ€™s when RouteHappy will be even more perfect for a mileage junkie like me.
|This story written by…Malcolm Muir, Lead Correspondent. Mal is an Australian Avgeek now living and working in Seattle. With a passion for aircraft photography, traveling and the fun that combining the two can bring. Insights into the aviation world with a bit of a perspective thanks to working in the travel industry.|