May 12 AT 1:03 PM Anthony Domanico 4 Comments

Kayak: Book your next getaway right from your Android phone

As someone who travels fairly infrequently, I actually look forward to the process of booking a trip to faraway place. It’s always a good feeling to know that once I click the “Book Now” button, I will for sure have some vacation time away from work in the not-too-distant future.

In October I will be flying to New York City to take part in a wedding, but rather than the traditional booking process, I wanted to try it a bit differently by booking the trip exclusively from my Android phone. Enter Kayak Flight and Hotel Search, a feature-loaded, all-in-one travel management application that promises easy and convenient viewing/booking of airfare, hotels, and rental cars.

Kayak offers all of the following options:

  • Ability to view and book flights, hotels, and car rentals
  • Buzz, which graphs price trends based on departure date for flight routes
  • Flight Tracking, powered by Flightstats
  • Contact information and website links for all major airlines, as well as several minor ones
  • Trip organization, including itinerary information, Google calendar and maps integration
  • Pulls in flight/hotel/car rental information from hundreds of travel sites into one convenient location

My experience with Kayak for flight and hotel booking was very hit or miss. First, when searching for flights with flexible dates, it simply brought back a list of fares with times, but not dates. You have to click on the route itself to figure out what dates you are looking at.

A second annoyance was when I searched for flights, Kayak showed several fares on Midwest Airlines for $280. When I clicked “Book Now,” the fares on the website it took me to started at $350. Needless to say, this was an extremely frustrating process, and made me really want to just book the whole thing via the convenience of a PC.

Kayak does have some redeeming features however. First, the buzz feature that shows pricing trends for selected routes is really cook and shows how large a variation there is in pricing based on day of the week. Second, the fact that one app allows you to book flights, hotels, and rental cars is pretty awesome. Some websites don’t even offer that functionality, let alone cell phone apps. Finally, the ability to track flights right from the app is a nice-to-have add on.

What I Liked:

  • No skimping on the features – this app has everything you could possibly want for booking travel
  • Buzz price graphing/trending information
  • Flight tracking
  • Search feature is pretty good at figuring out what I was looking for

What I Didn’t

  • Flight search results don’t include what the dates are when searching for flexible dates
  • Sometimes the app either freezes or glitches out altogether, requiring a restart
  • Other times the main screen buttons take you to what you were doing last instead of where you wanted to go next. For example, I clicked on Buzz, and it took me to the results from my flight search
  • I had a couple of force closes in landscape mode
  • Fares found on the app itself don’t match what is found online when you click “Book Now”

Final Verdict: Kayak has some pretty cool features, and is certainly worth a download to try it out yourself. I can’t see myself using this to book my entire trip, but would use it for some other things such as flight tracking and buzz and it serves as a good starting point when you’re starting to look into pricing for flights, hotels, and car rentals.

Kayak is currently in version 1.1.1 and can be found for free on the Android Market.

Kayak Buzz Kayak Car Rental Kayak Company Info Kayak Flight Search Results Kayak Flight Track Kayak Hotel Kayak Intro Kayak Menu

Source: Kayak's Android Site

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • http://Website matthewdlyons

    I downloaded the app on Monday. Not bad, but one thing that really bugged me is that there is not an option to pick a time of day for your flight. This missing feature makes you scroll through the entire day of options instead of narrowing them. Further, you cannot sort the results by time. I also wish that when you chose a date, you had the option to view a month calendar, like you do online, versus the +/- for month, day and year. Without the calendar view, you must either know the particular days of travel (though the day of the week shows up), or flip back and forth to a calendar. Not helpful.

    I did like the flight tracking and price buzz feature. The hotel search is more intuitive. It can sort by price, popularity or star rank. Same goes for the car rental. You can sort by price, rental agency, type of car, and even the brand of car (though the brand list seemed rather limited).

  • http://Website mattthewdlyons

    Correction on the car brand list. It does appear to be pretty comprehensive.

  • http://Website Dilbert

    Looks like after you search (on results page) there is a button at bottom for filtering by time.

  • http://Website Yevgeniy

    They update today,now you can choose a day..but still need a work..