What makes a flight right? Routehappy aims to find out

Ever wonder what really makes things “right” when it comes to the in-flight experience? Everyone has slightly different opinions, to be sure, but might there be some common themes? One company, Routehappy, is working on the issue. Their website collects customer experience data and helps passengers discern which flights are likely to be better than others, based on both prior passenger experience and editorial views from travel experts. The company takes a more holistic view of the travel lifecycle than other “expert view” companies such as SeatGuru, looking not just at the seats on the plane but also relative benefits of different connecting airports, ease of getting to/from the airport and in-flight internet and entertainment systems.

RouteHappy switched from an invite-only alpha stage to an open beta a couple months ago and has amassed more than 40,000 individual flight reviews and over 90,000 comments so far. They’ve taken that data and put together some interesting information on flight option views and reviews. While reading the detailed review comments can be interesting when looking at a specific route the generalized data is also quite interesting to look at, especially when formed into a nifty infographic like this one (shown below is just a small snippit):


Not surprisingly, the check-in process and interactions with the flight crew are the most significant contributors towards positive in-flight experiences. At the same time, in-flight connectivity and power are significant contributors to negative experiences:


RouteHappy announced today a $1.5mm round of venture capital funding and indicated that they are targeting the end of the year for a full launch, expanding their efforts to help passengers “take back the air.” CEO Robert Alpert is looking to tackle the huge issue of apparent passenger indifference and the commoditization of air travel:

All flights are not created equal, and travelers have never had access to targeted data and information on the quality of individual flights, until now. Finally, flyers will be able to incorporate concrete aspects of the experience, like aircraft quality, seat type, entertainment type, plugs, Wi-Fi, Flyer Ratings and more, into their flight purchase decisions.

So, what makes a flight great for you? Is it the crew, the seat, the IFE or something else? Let me know here and check out RouteHappy to see if others agree with you.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Passengers aren’t indifferent, but they might not be rational or clear on what is important to them. Just as most people do not calculate a value-per-mile ala milevalue.com, most have not quantified routing and time costs of alternate airports, let alone subjective value of experiences. The trend of “smart software” often holds that people will reveal this to the software which will become some kind of IP. In my opinion, it must reveal the preferences to the individual so that s/he may act on it. This is a premise of quantifiedself.com

  2. Domestically, I could honestly care less about the attitude of the employees – I have been desensitized to anyone being short or rude to me and I blow that off…same with the airport experience…75% of US airports are horrendous in so many ways (no power plugs, bad aircon, too many Auntie Annes, etc.) that I don’t even bother worrying about them….but what makes my domestic flights good or bad can be described in three words: Legroom, Legroom, Legroom! πŸ™‚ On an international flight, I do look at everything and a domestic attitude surely resonates with me more on an International flight.

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