Routehappy cruised into $1.5 million in seed funding today, for its flight search engine that prioritizes comfort and convenience over cost.
On popular sites like Kayak, Orbitz, and Expedia, flights are listed by cost and fly time. While information on in-flight amenities is available, customers cannot easily factor that into their search parameters.
Routehappy focuses on the overall experiences of each flight. It lets travelers compare journeys by aircraft quality, seat space, entertainment options, Wi-Fi and plug availability, service, food, punctuality and more. The ratings and reviews are based on data collected from more than 90,000 user comments.
Someone looking for a flight from San Francisco to New York can type in his trip details and the technology generates a ranked list. In this case, the user can see that the jetBlue flights receive the highest overall ranking, but Virgin America offers plugs and in-air wi-fi, and United is likely to have the roomiest seats.
Routehappy launched the beta version of its site last March and the mobile version hit the app store just over a month ago. The website is designed as a resource for trip planning, while the iPhone app functions more as a social platform to exchange tips and tricks.
Both applications hold hidden bits of wisdom about airports as well. The data reveals where to find the secret, short security lines, and which terminals have the best food and shopping options (Amsterdam Schiphol apparently, or perhaps travelers are just giddy off the fumes).
CEO Robert Albert formerly worked as the VP of Strategy for Travelocity and the VP of Media for IgoUgo, which became part of Travelocity in 2006. He was inspired to start Routehappy after growing frustrated with the limited resources available to trip planners.
“It’s always bugged me that information about flights is reduced to price and schedule,” he said. “The current travel landscape prevents flyers from making the best possible decisions when they shop and prevents the industry from focusing as much as they should on the product and flyer experience.”
The company aspires to disrupt the flight industry by redefining how fliers make their travel choices and will use this money to continue developing the product. This round was led by High Peaks Venture Partners, Contour Venture Partners, and VoCap Ventures, as well as angel investors.
Routehappy is based in New York City.