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Is Kayak legit? How reliable is the site? If you plan your next business trip or vacation, you need the best travel site to help you. Check out this Kayak review for everything you need to know about the site.
Currently, the tourism industry is worth over $1.2 trillion. And over $800 billion worth of travel bookings is made online annually. This means that there are several online travel booking sites to help cover this considerable travel demand.
But how do you know the best site to use? How do you find the best travel deals? Travel agencies and travel comparison sites are your best option. If you’ve booked a trip online, you’ve probably encountered the travel agency Kayak. It’s one of the most popular travel comparison sites and agencies on the internet.
The truth is Kayak is a legit and reliable site – it’s gotten as popular as it is for a reason! But, we intend to review Kayak in-depth to determine exactly how legit, reliable, and helpful it is.
- What is Kayak?
- How Does Kayak Work?
- Booking Flights
- Car Rentals
- Trip Planning Tools
- Price Alerts
- Travel Hack Guides
- Tips on Using Kayak to Book Flights and Hotels
- 1. Protect your Data
- 2. Look Out for Suspicious Emails
- 3. Do Some Additional Research
- 4. Read the Reviews
- How to Book Flights With Kayak
- How to Book Hotels With Kayak
- Pros of Kayak
- 1. Get the Cheapest Prices
- 2. Save Time on Trip Planning
- 3. User-Friendly
- 4. Useful Tools
- 5. Reliable Information
- 6. Safe
- Cons of Kayak
- 1. No Lowest Price Guarantee
- 2. Potential for Poor Customer Service
- 3. Price fluctuations
- Common Customer Feedback
- Kayak Reviews
- Is Kayak Legit?
- Is Kayak reliable?
- Are there any hidden fees with using Kayak?
- How can I contact Kayak customer service?
- Ease of Use
- Value for Money
What is Kayak?
Kayak is a booking and price comparison travel website. It’s a one-stop shop for excursionists looking for affordable travel deals. In essence, the website gives you price comparisons to enable you to make the best choice possible for accommodation, flights, and rental car prices.
Since Kayak partners with different websites, users can find the best deals using its platform. It eliminates the need to browse 100s of websites for the best price. The reason is that the website pulls data from different websites, offering it on one convenient site.
After discovering the enormous need for a comparison travel website, Kayak as a company was started in 2004 by Steve Hafner and Paul M. English. After almost ten years, the website was acquired by Booking Holdings in 2013 and continues to grow.
Over the years, it has focused on offering the lowest travel price possible. Recently, the company launched an app version of the website to improve the user experience for mobile users.
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How Does Kayak Work?
The website has a search bar on top where you add all the relevant information of what you are searching for. After entering all the data, the search results will show you all the available flight or hotel options. You will also get price comparisons to help you make the right choice depending on your budget.
Also, apart from getting price comparisons, Kayak has a trip planner that simplifies your planning process. With the Kayak trip planner, you can track prices and save searches to help you make the best decision.
The Kayak interface has features to help you book flights, hotels, car rentals, and even determine the best flight schedule. You can plan your trip from one website and get the best business or vacation packages. It’s no secret that trip planning can be pretty stressful. For that reason, having one place to plan everything is very helpful.
As an experienced traveler, I’ve found that booking flights with Kayak can be a convenient and time-saving process. This is because Kayak allows me to view flights from multiple airlines in one place, which saves me the hassle of searching through various airline websites.
The platform is legit and can help you find better prices for flights, hotels, rental cars, and more by scanning other websites and displaying the best deals. When I use Kayak, I appreciate the transparency in their flight booking system.
They show both main cabin seats and basic economy seats, which are not assigned until check-in. The affordable basic economy seats may be a bit less convenient due to the last-minute booking, but they can be a great option if you’re on a tight budget or don’t mind where you sit on the plane.
However, it’s important to note that Kayak is not a booking platform. Instead, it acts as an aggregator, gathering information from various providers to help you find the best deals. When you find a flight you want to book, Kayak will direct you to the airline’s website, a third-party booking site, or another provider to complete the reservation.
I find it quite efficient and user-friendly when I use Kayak to search for accommodations. With a wide range of options, from hotels and hostels to vacation rentals, I can refine my search using various filters to suit my preferences, such as price, star rating, amenities, and location.
As mentioned, Kayak also aggregates information from multiple booking sites to provide a comprehensive list of available accommodations. This way, I can compare prices and decide the best place to stay. Furthermore, Kayak often displays deals and discounts, which can help me save some money on my stay.
While browsing for accommodations, I appreciate that Kayak shows traveler ratings and reviews from other reliable platforms. This allows me to gain insight into previous guests’ experiences and make a more informed decision.
Aside from that, Kayak’s map feature is extremely helpful, as it displays the exact location of the accommodations and nearby attractions, making it easy for me to choose a place that aligns with my trip itinerary.
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Regarding car rentals, Kayak is quite helpful in simplifying searching and comparing rental options. For me, the platform has been able to display a variety of choices, with prices and specifications that make it easier to find the right fit for my requirements.
I have also found the price predictor tool a valuable feature Kayak offers. This tool helps me gauge the demand for rental cars and plan my bookings accordingly to find a great rental car deal. By giving insights on whether rental car prices are likely to increase, decrease, or stay the same, Kayak allows me to make a well-informed decision, potentially saving money.
While using Kayak for car rentals, similarly to their flights and accommodations, they aggregate data from different providers, including both local and international rental companies. This comprehensive approach enables me to explore various options, ensuring I can find a suitable car rental deal for my needs. Additionally, the user-friendly interface and the ability to filter results by preferences such as car type, rental company, and price range contribute to a positive user experience.
Once a preferred option is selected, users are redirected to the corresponding rental company’s website to complete the booking process. This means that any issues or concerns regarding the rental should be addressed directly with the rental company rather than Kayak.
Trip Planning Tools
In this section, I will discuss some of the useful trip-planning tools provided by Kayak to make your travel experience better. These tools include Explore, Price Alerts, and Travel Hack Guides.
The Explore tool is one of my favorite features of Kayak. With this tool, I can discover new travel destinations based on my budget, travel interests, and preferred travel dates.
By entering my origin airport and adjusting the filters, Kayak’s Explore map shows me various global destinations and approximate airfare costs. This feature helps me stay within budget and inspires me to visit new places I might not have considered otherwise.
A price alert is handy when I want to track the price of a specific flight, hotel, or rental car. Once I set a price alert, I receive email notifications or mobile app push notifications whenever the price changes. This tool helps me stay informed about price fluctuations and allows me to make a well-informed decision about when to book my travel arrangements.
- Email Notifications: I can receive email alerts when the price of the flight, hotel, or rental car I’m tracking changes.
- Mobile App Notifications: Kayak’s mobile app sends push notifications whenever a price change for my tracked itinerary is changed.
Travel Hack Guides
The Travel Hack Guides on Kayak offer useful tips and tricks for individuals like me who want to save money and time while planning an entire trip. These guides cover various topics such as budgeting, finding the best travel deals, navigating airport security, packing effectively, and making the most of layovers. By leveraging these guides, I can optimize my travel experience and explore new destinations without breaking the bank.
Tips on Using Kayak to Book Flights and Hotels
1. Protect your Data
Data is the new gold in the modern era. When using Kayak or any other website, you must protect your data at all costs. You might be required to fill out personal details and billing information at some point. Only answer what the website asks you to provide. If anything seems fishy, log out of the website and start the process again.
2. Look Out for Suspicious Emails
After signing up for Kayak, you might start receiving emails. You are responsible for looking for suspicious emails so you don’t fall for a scam.
As a rule, do not open any suspicious links in your inbox. Your email might do an excellent job at filtering out the spam email, but you will still likely receive some in your inbox. Read carefully to separate the genuine promotional emails and the spam mail.
3. Do Some Additional Research
Kayak is a good travel website for price comparison and booking rental cars, hotel rooms, and flights. But, it is not the only website that you can use. It is advisable to use it as a guide but reference other websites for further information and clarification if you need second opinions.
For instance, if you find a hotel you like, you can visit their website for more information or pictures. You can also read genuine Kayak reviews from users to help you make the right decision.
Sometimes the pictures or information on the Kayak website might be outdated. So, it’s always a good idea to do some additional research.
4. Read the Reviews
Reading the website’s online reviews is vital before making a decision. What other travelers say about destinations and services will help you make better booking decisions.
How to Book Flights With Kayak
Booking flights with Kayak is easy. The website uses powerful software that updates flight information quickly and accurately. It compares air tickets from hundreds of airlines, making it easy to find the cheapest Kayak airline tickets.
As reported by several flight reviews, Kayak is one of the most transparent flight booking websites. It shows you the main cabin and basic-economy seats that are not assigned until check-in.
The basic economy seats are affordable but less convenient because of the last-minute booking. But you can always get a cheap Kayak ticket by selecting the basic economy seats. Here are some tips to help you with Kayak flight booking:
- Tailor the search results – it is advisable to tailor the search results to fit your needs when finding flights. Start by calculating the baggage fees if you carry heavy items. Set the price to the maximum budget so you can only find flights within your price range. Filtering the results accordingly will help you find the best deals.
- Take advantage of hacker fares – hacker fares are flight fares from two different airlines to make a round-trip flight. The advantage of using hacker fares is to save costs. Most of the time, the flight fees are lower compared to using the same airline.
- Check the map for pricing– the recommended flights on the map are great for getting the best offers. You can use the map to see the lowest prices if you are not traveling on a specific day. On some days, the flights are cheaper than on others.
- Have options – Kayak is a good website for price comparison, as it makes everything easy for you when planning your trip. Nonetheless, do not just rely on one website. Try to look elsewhere and counter-check to see whether the information is accurate. Sometimes, the website has old information that has not been updated for a while.
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How to Book Hotels With Kayak
The Kayak travel website has many options for hotel booking. On the search bar, you can filter the results to find exactly what you are looking for. Some options show you the kind of amenities, ambiance, neighborhood, score, and other factors.
You will also find the option to track prices so that you can book when the prices are favorable. The search bar for hotels and the one for flights are similar. They allow you to narrow down your options.
Pros of Kayak
1. Get the Cheapest Prices
Kayak helps you to find the lowest prices available on the internet through their search and easy-to-use navigation. Unlike other travel websites, Kayak is a search engine that gives you a breakdown of all the prices from other websites. And to make it even easier for you, the website highlights the lowest price in green. Cha-ching.
Getting the lowest price can help you save significantly on your trip without browsing hundreds of websites. The Kayak website was explicitly set up for price comparison, so it gives you the cheapest travel prices available.
2. Save Time on Trip Planning
Planning a trip can take time, especially when booking flights, hotels, and car rentals. Fortunately, the website helps you to save time because everything is done from one place. It has features to help you find prices for flights, hotels, and car rentals without visiting multiple websites.
It is a one-stop shop for everything you need for your trip making it one of the best websites for planning.
Kayak stands out for being a user-friendly travel site. It has easy-to-use features that are attractive to a beginner, which also helps you to save time.
If you are a mobile user, they have an app version that is easy to use, just like the website. The app was recently launched, but it is still as good as the website for mobile users. Even if you are not tech savvy, you will enjoy and have an easy time on the website.
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4. Useful Tools
Kayak’s website has a few useful tools that make planning your trip easy. First, they have a price monitoring tool that helps you monitor the prices over time to choose the best price.
You also get a tool that helps you to upload your whole itinerary to the website. This helps you get the best deals depending on where you stay. Even better, they have tools that allow you to save your searches so you do not have to return to the search engine and start over.
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5. Reliable Information
Reliable information is crucial when planning for travel. Kayak offers you timely and accurate information, and they constantly update deals and prices from third-party sites in the travel industry. With reliable information, you can make the right decision and budget accordingly.
Also, to make the website as reliable as possible, they have a price predictor and price alerts to notify you of new prices. Their high-tech software makes uploading and searching data very fast. They also use dynamic maps to get locations.
Kayak is committed to keeping you safe when using the website. They guarantee your safety by ensuring that all the data you provide is safe and secure. You’ll always use a third-party website to input your payment information and lock in your hotel bookings, flight tickets, or rental car.
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Cons of Kayak
1. No Lowest Price Guarantee
Kayak has a clause that does not guarantee the lowest price. They strive to help you find the lowest prices, but it is not always a guarantee.
That means they do not take any liability if you can search alternative flight prices online and find a cheaper option. This is expected as they are not a booking site but a meta-travel search engine.
But this does not mean that the Kayak website is not practical. The website is effective, but it might not always be conclusive. Other websites may give you more details to help you find the lowest prices.
2. Potential for Poor Customer Service
Since Kayak is not an online travel agency, resolving booking-related issues can be more complicated. Users may need to communicate with the agency or airline directly. Kayak customer service isn’t the worst, but better options exist.
I would temper expectations on this con since you should consider Kayak an information provider based on third-party booking sites’ information. They are just an intermediary to provide you with the information and are not a travel agent providing that full value-added customer service experience.
3. Price fluctuations
Sometimes, the prices displayed on Kayak might not be up-to-date, leading to discrepancies when redirected to the booking website.
Common Customer Feedback
In my research, I have found that customers generally provide mixed feedback on their experience with Kayak. Some find it a reliable platform for comparing and booking travel deals, while others have faced issues with customer service and bookings.
Many users appreciate that Kayak is a reliable search engine that allows them to easily compare the cost of airfares, hotels, and car rentals across multiple service providers. They often mention that Kayak can help them find good deals and simplify the booking process. For example, NerdWallet states that “Kayak is just as reliable as other travel search engines.”
However, some negatives are mentioned in customer feedback, mainly related to bookings and customer service. For instance, some customers have reported issues receiving booking confirmations or being charged for duplicate bookings. In a Trustpilot review, a user mentioned encountering problems with booking confirmation and faced a cancellation fee for a duplicate booking.
Additionally, customers have reported frustration with the quality of Kayak’s customer service. According to the ConsumerAffairs review, people have mentioned difficulties with refunds, changes, or cancellations, often feeling like they face a battle to resolve their complaints.
Despite these downsides, it is important to note that such experiences may not be exclusive to Kayak, as third-party booking sites can get complicated occasionally. Users should weigh the benefits and potential issues before using Kayak as their primary travel booking platform.
As someone who frequently books travel deals, I have encountered various experiences with Kayak. And from my perspective, Kayak is as reliable as other search engines in the travel industry.
Upon using Kayak, I can say that it’s beneficial in comparing the cost of airfares across multiple airlines. However, one drawback is that you cannot book directly with Kayak. Instead, you are directed to the airline’s website or a third-party booking site to complete your reservation.
As mentioned above, regarding customer feedback, Kayak has received mixed reviews. While some people find their services helpful and efficient, others express dissatisfaction with booking confirmation and communication issues. Here are a few highlights from customer reviews I found:
- Some customers appreciate Kayak’s fast and easy-to-use interface, which pulls information from multiple sources.
- Others express frustration with incompetent, dishonest, or hypocritical experiences during the booking process.
- A few reviewers also mention that some offers on Kayak might be scams gathered from the internet.
Is Kayak Legit?
Absolutely yes. Kayak is a trustworthy site and one of the largest travel sites in the industry. First, it provides up-to-date information to help you book and plan your trip.
In my experience, Kayak is a solid option for researching prices, but you should approach the booking process cautiously. I recommend double-checking your booking status and contacting customer service to avoid potential issues.
Using Kayak will help you to find low travel rates for hotels and flights. Nonetheless, you are not always guaranteed to get the lowest prices available. It is thus advisable to do your research to help you find the lowest prices from other sites like Google Flights.
This travel search engine has been used for many years, and thousands of Kayak reviews indicate it’s legit. And, while it might also have its drawbacks, like any other site, this doesn’t imply that it’s not legit.
Is Kayak reliable?
Yes, Kayak is a reliable meta-travel search engine that makes travel research for vacation packages, hotels, flights, and rental cars easy. They provide information quickly to help fellow travelers score a good deal for their next trip.
Kayak shows its users the best deals directly from the various providers’ websites. After making a booking, these providers pay Kayak to direct you to their website and help you make a booking. No fees are added to the customer’s end.
How can I contact Kayak customer service?
Kayak has an extensive support page with a number of its own Frequently Asked Questions. At the bottom of this page, there is also the option to chat with customer support.
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- Get the cheapest prices
- Save time on trip planning
- User friendly
- Features useful tools
- Provide reliable information
- It is not a booking site
- Does not guarantee the lowest prices
- No customer service
- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.