We utilize user tips and reviews for everything these days: restaurants, plumbers, doctors, and rice makers. Now there's a way to get information on the potential pros and cons we might encounter on our flights and in airports.
Launched in beta in March 2012, Routehappy.com invites users to write reviews about many aspects of the flying experience, by airline or airport. Reviews are posted for readers, and can be viewed by departure city, airport, and airline. Mercifully, the site lets you to drill down on particular aspects of flight. So if you only want to know what the WiFi is really like at LaGuardia International, or how good the food is on Delta, you can jump right to the subject that interests you.
That's well and good when you're home and browsing leisurely, but when you're on the go (whether jumping into cabs or island hopping), you need something mobile. Something like... RouteHappy's new app for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
The app is simple and streamlined, which is good when you're juggling luggage and/or whining children. The user has the option of reviewing a flight or finding tips (or as Routehappy calls them "hidden gems" and "flyer bewares").
The reviewing functionality is pretty straightforward, and allows you to choose details helpful to readers (non-stop or multi-stop flight, cabin class, companion type, etc.). You can keep it simple, choosing thumbs-up or thumbs-down, or expand your review to include comments on each thumb. You can even include up to 25 photos with your review. Another small but helpful detail—you don't need to be connected to WiFi to draft your review. The app lets you save it as a draft and submit it later when you have service. Neat.
When it comes to finding tips, the app is robust in terms of both content and specificity. As on the website, you'll find a lengthy list of domestic and international carriers and airports to choose from and search for. And you can narrow your search by subject; in other words, you can drill down by amenities and services like food and seat quality.
Don't really know what you're looking for? There's a quick Top 10 Tips button based on your search criteria. The website and app currently boast around three thousand reviews from approximately 1,500 reviewers, and even the lesser known airlines get their fair share of superlatives. I did a quick Top 10 Tips search for Philippine Airlines, and while the tips were a mix of airline, departing, and connecting airport reviews, there was a fair amount of content, and each tip came with route information, cabin class, and the date the reviewer flew. Expect more content for the bigger names.
Overall, the Routehappy app provides a simple interface backed by a lot of content. It's very easy to use on the go, and for such a simple app, allows for a good amount of specific searching. Plus it feels a little more modern than combing message boards for the right place to air that grievance against United.
Photos courtesy of RouteHappy