Frequently Asked Questions

All about routeRANK




Route and price computations

Improvement ideas

General questions

What is routeRANK?

routeRANK is a travel search engine that allows you to find the best route to your destination. Its patented system intelligently combines hundreds of flight, train, shuttle and car routes and ranks them all according to your preferences such as total price, total duration, available idle time for working, total environmental impact. This gives you an overview of all the possible routes with a single search.

Why use routeRANK?

Current independent travel planning is tedious, time-consuming and often leads to suboptimal results. There are a huge number of flight routes and even finding them or keeping track of them is difficult. Once known, one still needs to check the various airline websites individually for prices and availability, re-entering the details each time.

Prices as well as travel and waiting times for airport transfers also need to be researched and considered as they can significantly impact the overall price or travel time for a route; ignoring them would be similar to ignoring airport taxes or credit card fees on flight bookings. On medium distance journeys where taking the train all the way or driving by car are alternative options – as is the case on many European journeys – finding the best route independently is more effort once again.

How does it work?

That is our secret.

Why trust routeRANK?

Many travel websites mix providing travel information with selling tickets. routeRANK only focuses on one thing – finding information – and is therefore unbiased.

Do you offer custom versions of your software for business applications?

Yes, we can tailor our software to suit the needs of corporate customers and organizations, for their internal use or use on their own website, with applications in both travel and logistics. For more information, see the Business applications section.

What are the "residency" settings?

You may choose your country of residence, and routeRANK will show you localized content where available. Thus we may show you flights queried from the country-specific domain of the travel agent (e.g. ). Please note that the localized content in this version of routeRANK is currently limited in scope; where unavailable, we use the default travel agents of our flight provider (mostly in Germany). Other versions (e.g. the WWF Travel Helper) may have different content. We are constantly working on expanding our coverage and bringing routeRANK right to where you live!

What are the "language" settings?

You may choose the language in which you would like the routeRANK website to be presented. We then make every effort to show you locations, results and external links in the language selected, as far as data is available.

routeRANK does not know my departure/destination location!

The available cities/towns are displayed when you start typing in the search box (we refer to this as "auto-complete"). Train stations and airports are only shown in the auto-complete if there are no cities with the same name. However, train station and airport names, and airport IATA codes, are recognized even if not matched by auto-completion.

We currently do not support train stations outside Europe. We do recognize the names of most major airports world-wide, as well as the names of the cities they are in. A list of the biggest supported cities and towns in Europe can be found on our locations page.

We try to recognize the names of cities and towns in several languages. However, if you do not find a location when you use the name in your language, you may try the name in one of the routeRANK website languages.

If you still cannot find your location or notice a problem with a location name, please contact us and we will add it as fast as possible.

Why are the locations/countries not always displayed in my language?

We display the names of towns and cities in the language of the routeRANK website where possible. The names of train stations are usually displayed in the language of the country they are in, and most airport names are displayed in English.

What are the symbols in the search form next to the locations?

The symbols indicate the type of location:

  • City icon City or village

  • Train station icon Train station

  • Airport icon Airport

How do I sort my routes?

You can sort your routes by clicking on the header of the column you would like to sort your routes by. Clicking a second time on the same column header will reverse the sorting order of the routes.

How do I use the Options and Filtering?

The options and filtering allow you to refine and personalize your search results.

  • Time Filters: This option appears after the search finishes, to the right of the search box. It allows you to filter results based on the departure and arrival times. You can use this option to show only those trips that fit your timing preferences.
  • Airport Selection: This link is only displayed when results include flights. It displays a popup window showing all the different departure and arrival airports routeRANK searched for your journey. You can then select your preferred airports and deselect airports you would not like to travel through.
  • Transfer Selection: This link is only displayed when results include flights. It displays a popup window showing options for transfers between airports, which include public transport or car. Note that the car option also applies to taxis (see Customize car below).
  • Customize Car: This link displays a popup window showing your car preferences for the direct car route, the departure and arrival transfers to and from the airport. When using a car for the transfers, you can set whether the car will be driven back (e.g. a friend drives you to the airport and then back home). You may also choose different types of cars for your departure and arrival transfers (see also the question What are the car options?).
  • Currency Selection: This link allows you to choose the currency that will be used to display your price results.

What are the symbols in the 'Means' column?

These symbols show how the route is composed. For example:
    Four different trainsOne planeThree different trains
indicates that the route comprises four legs by train, then one flight and finally another three legs by train.

routeRANK uses the following symbols:

  • Bus icon Bus

  • Car icon Car

  • Plane icon Plane

  • Shuttle icon Shuttle/Subway

  • Train icon Train

What is the two-way arrow next to the flight price in return trip results?

The price for each part of the trip is indicated on each row. For return trip searches, there is usually one price for the entire return flight, rather than for each outbound and inbound flight. Thus the price of the return flight is shown only in the outbound part of the trip, and indicated using the two-way arrow symbol (Two-way arrow).

Why are some prices italicized and others not?

Prices in italics indicate that the displayed price is an estimate. Prices are typically estimated for train journeys which span more than one country, and for destinations outside the countries of our current travel providers (see here for more information). Obtaining accurate prices for these journeys is difficult because even the railways only rarely provide prices online for destinations outside their own country. We are constantly looking to improve our estimates, so if you notice that we are a little off, please contact us!

Why am I forwarded to a web site that is not in my language?

We try to forward you to websites in the same language as the routeRANK website, where possible. For some flight providers, we currently direct you to the German version of the site; we hope to incorporate versions in other languages in the future.

Why am I forwarded to a web site that does not display trip details?

We try to forward you directly to a web site that provides the information regarding the trip, but sometimes this is not possible; one reason is that some travel providers do not give a means to link directly to the relevant results page (e.g. for car queries). Another reason is that train agents do not always have schedules for the given trip date (e.g. because it is too far in the future) and thus they do not display trip details on their web site. In those cases, routeRANK may infer the train schedules based on the information of schedules from other dates.

Why do you sometimes show two train journeys with the same departure and arrival time?

There are some cases when the train results appear to be same in terms of departure/arrival times but they are actually different because they use different trains for intermediate parts of the journey; these details can be seen by following the link the the travel provider site.

Why do you not display all the flights that I find on other flight search engines?

In order to not overwhelm you with too many results, we filter the flights information that we get from our providers and only display the best ones for you (taking into account factors like price, duration and departure and arrival times).

What does 'Offset CO2' mean?

routeRANK lets you offset or neutralize the CO2 emissions of your journey by forwarding you to the myClimate offsetting project. By offsetting you invest in projects that reduce the equivalent amount of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere. For more details about the offset projects, please refer to the myClimate website.

Which travel providers does routeRANK search?

For the available locations (described in the question routeRANK does not know my departure/destination location!), we get information from the following providers:

  • Car route information - viaMichelin
  • Flight information - provided by Momondo. It includes data from providers such as Expedia, ebookers,, Bravofly, travelstart, LTURfly, lastminute, opodo, Terminal A and airline-direct, as well as from individual airlines such as Easyjet, Ryanair and many others.
  • Public transport information - railway and bus travel providers from Western European countries (in particular Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, UK and France)

How are the CO2 emissions calculated?

CO2 emission calculations are based on a model developed by the IFEU Heidelberg. They are further refined using information from the European Commission, non-profit organizations, transport providers and universities across Europe, and the Ecoinvent Centre.

The calculations account for emissions generated by transport vehicles (e.g. gasoline and diesel from the vehicle's tank), emissions generated by the extraction and conversion of energy (e.g. crude oil, coal, uranium from power plants or refineries), emissions generated by energy distribution (e.g. tank trucks, power grid, oil tankers) and emissions generated by construction, maintenance and disposal of transport vehicles (e.g. cars, planes, trains) and infrastructure (e.g. roads, airports, railway lines).

Car emissions are based on those of a mid-sized, gasoline-powered passenger car (EURO 4) with one passenger. Plane emissions account for differences in capacity utilization where data is available. Similarly, train emissions account for differences in capacity utilization and consider national differences in electricity mix.

Users can customize their car by choosing the fuel type (petrol or diesel) and car type (small, medium, large, or custom car). The custom car option lets the user enter the exact fuel consumption of the car, which will then be used in the calculations.

Want to know even more?
We can provide you with a detailed sheet of CO2 calculations for the different forms of transport. Please contact us to receive this information or with any further questions you may have.

How is the car travel time computed?

The duration of the car journey is calculated using ViaMichelin. It does not account for any loading and waiting time for any non-road part of the car trip (e.g. ferry or train transfer).

What are the car options?

The Customize car option box allows you to refine the car parameters. It is organized in three columns: the first one allows you to provide the parameter of your own car, used for the direct drive. The second and third column allow you to specifiy the kind of car you will use (if any) for the transfer to and from the airport, and can potentially be different form your own car. You may also choose whether the car is a taxi{rentalCarOption} or belongs to a friend (who is picking you up at the airport), in which case the car has to be driven back and the CO2 emissions and the car cost are effectively doubled.

The car provided by routeRANK assumes the following values
Small car Small car: less than 7 liters per 100km
Medium car Medium car: approx. 8 to 10 liters per 100km
Large car Large car: more than 10 liters per 100km
In addition, routeRANK allows to choose a 'custom car' where you can manually set the exact fuel consumption and fuel price.

How are the car prices computed?

The car cost depends on the car (small, medium, large or custom), the type of fuel (petrol, diesel), and the cost of fuel; see the question What are the car options? for more details about customizing these options. An estimated car cost (0.1 EUR/km) is added to the fuel cost to account for car maintenance and depreciation.

Why are the prices for car travel shown on the ViaMichelin homepage different from the ones shown on routeRANK?

The prices shown on the ViaMichelin website include the fuel price, eventual road tolls, and prices for ferries. In particular, ViaMichelin always adds the price of toll passes. To make comparisons between different means of transport meaningful, the prices displayed on the routeRANK website do not include toll passes. Instead costs incurred by depreciation and maintenance are added to the fuel price. As such the car prices shown by ViaMichelin and routeRANK will usually differ.

How are the train prices computed?

We typically show you the standard, 2nd class tariff, or the default tariff displayed by the travel provider. To see alternative options (for 1st class, or with a reduction), please follow the link to the travel provider site.

Train prices in italics indicate that the price is an estimate. Please see the related FAQ entry for more information.

I have found a better connection than the one found by routeRANK!

Great! We are constantly updating and improving our service. Please contact us and let us know what you found.

routeRANK is missing feature XXX! Why does routeRANK not allow me to do YYY?

We are always working on new features and content. If you know of a feature that would make routeRANK more useful to you, please contact us! We will add new features according to how important you tell us they are to you.

I have been temporarily denied access. Why?

In order to maintain optimal service and happy users, routeRANK has enforced a strict limit of connections per IP address within a given timeframe (unless you are connecting to the network from a trusted IP address). If you are a business or organization that would like a customized version of routeRANK for your travel planning or other commercial application, please contact us to discuss your specific requirements.

What are the supported browsers?

The list of supported browsers changes from time to time. Presently, the following browsers are supported:
  • Firefox (latest)
  • Chrome (latest)
  • IE 11+
  • Safari 9+