Expedia adds RouteHappy flight comfort data to search results


Think airfare purchases are all about fares? Expedia has teamed up with flight differentiation data provider RouteHappy to see if that’s really the case. As one of the world’s largest online travel agencies Expedia sells a whole lot of seats every day. Starting today the search results will include additional details beyond just price and schedule, namely the RouteHappy Scores & Happiness Factors.

Why wake up early for the 8:30am flight? The 767 offers AVOD for all passengers and wider seats. That comfort might be worth waking up early for.
Why wake up early for the 8:30am flight? The 767 offers AVOD for all passengers and wider seats. That comfort might be worth waking up early for.

While booking sites today provide details like the aircraft type as part of search results today most passengers do not know how to translate that information into what it means for their on-board experience. Does a particular flight have in-seat entertainment or WiFi available on board? What does aircraft type mean for seat width and pitch? An informed consumer might choose to wake up a bit earlier to catch a flight with a better entertainment system or choose to pay a few dollars extra at booking to secure more spacious seating. But that only happens when the consumer knows those options exist.

RouteHappy & the FlightMatch Algorithm

The RouteHappy system allows Expedia to return a more complete set of data to travelers. The integration will leverage RouteHappy’s FlightMatch system which uses a set of powerful and intelligent algorithms to dynamically match and score Happiness Factors, duration, and ratings for any given customer search. Greg Schulze, Senior Vice President, Global Tour & Transport at Expedia speaks to the value of the service in a statement issued today, “Routehappy has demonstrated a deep commitment to differentiating the air travel space. This benefits both our customers and our partners as it allows travelers an easier way to find the flight experience that best fits their needs.”

RouteHappy is the only provider in the market offering up such data today. It recently switched away from selling tickets direct to consumers and is now focused on serving the B2B market through deals such as this one with Expedia. Hipmunk made a similar play with its “agony” factor but that only considers price, stops and total travel time. The RouteHappy data includes many other factors, including seat pitch and width, in-flight entertainment options, in-flight connectivity, aircraft age, in-seat power and more. The data is compiled by a team of experts and includes the majority of flights worldwide. Plus RouteHappy has been building their FlightMatch and FlightPad systems for more than two years now; the company knows what matters and how to get the data it needs to ensure consumers can make informed decisions.

Will customers change their buying habits? Maybe. Should they? Absolutely. And perhaps exposing this collection of data in a clearer and more consistent manner will enable such a transformation in the market. Passengers are happy to complain about what they dislike in the travel process and some have even indicated a willingness to pay a bit extra to improve their own experience. This partnership between Expedia and RouteHappy is the first major effort to expose consumers to that data and allow passengers to make those choices.

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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, LinkedIn and .

2 Comments

  1. Seth,
    Expedia offering “Route Happy” is a great addition to flight details & a very good incentive to use their search engine! Thanks for sharing this new feature offered by Expedia.

  2. Excellent! As you say, hopefully this information percolates through the various OTAs and other booking channels and affects airline pricing and investments in a positive manner.

    I’ve always enjoyed Hipmunk as a concept, but the lack of customization/personalization (maybe I LIKE morning flights that get me to my destination earlier? Maybe I don’t care about WiFi but do care about premium economy or 2/3 seating?) limited the attractiveness.

    That said, I’ve got my parents hooked on their very easy / visuals driven iPad app.

    Good luck to RouteHappy on their new business model!

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