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New Site Helps Flyers Find ‘Happy’ Flights

Routehappy, a recently launched airfare booking site, promises to help flyers find the “happiest” flights—not just the cheapest. The site helps travelers find better flight experiences by sorting tickets based on “happiness factors.” But a first look seems to indicate that the algorithm incorporating those happiness factors may need work.

Supposedly, the factors that determine the happiness or quality of a flight include length and time of flights, seat room, in-flight entertainment, availability of Wi-Fi, and more. But my initial check gave results that wouldn’t make me happy.

From my home airport in Medford, Oregon to San Francisco, Routehappy gave equal happiness factors to flights on tiny, cramped Embrear 120 turboprops, as well as the faster, smoother, and all-round better flights on Canadair regional jets. Both flights cost the same.

For an itinerary from San Francisco to New York, Routehappy returned flights only on Virgin America, despite the fact that JetBlue provides better leg room, good in-flight entertainment, and a no-charge checked bag.

All in all, my first take is that Routehappy isn’t quite ready for prime time. But if you’re intrigued by the concept, by all means take a look—as the saying goes, it can’t hurt.

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